The Microsoft Band is a wearable fitness tracker that you can wear like a bracelet. It tracks steps, monitors your heart rate and sleep patterns, and communicates with mobile apps that can run on Android, iOS, or Windows Phone devices.
Launched late last year, the Microsoft Band was designed to work with a Microsoft health app or a few third-party apps including RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. But soon you may be able to use more apps and services with the band.
Microsoft has launched a Developer Preview of a Software Development Kit (SDK) for the Microsoft Band.
At launch, the SDK is available for Android and Windows Phone. An iOS SDK is listed as coming soon.
Microsoft says the tools will let developers extend the experiences of their mobile apps to a user’s wrist-worn device by sending data back and forth between the Band and a smartphone. Apps can use data collected by the Microsoft Band’s sensors, or send user interface elements to the band so that users can interact with apps without looking at their phones.
Developers have access to the band’s hear rate, skin, and motion sensors, among other things, and the SDK involves tools for creating tiles that display app notifications on the Band itself.
It could take a little while before we start to see third-party apps for Microsoft’s $199 wearable, but the company is also rolling out its own updates. Microsoft has launched a new web-based dashboard for Microsoft Health and new Microsoft Band features including:
- A cycling tile with distance, GPS tracking, and more
- An on-screen keyboard for responding to notifications
- Cortana voice input
- Quick Read mode for notifications
Microsoft plans to roll out additional updates about once every month.