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Microsoft Band Enters Crowded Wearable Tech Market

The new smartwatch has a clever rectangular touch screen with customizable “tiles” for everything from heart rate to email and Facebook alerts and Starbucks payments.

by Omar L. Gallaga, Austin American-Statesman (TNS) / November 10, 2014

After some information about its intentions leaked online recently, tech giant Microsoft found itself releasing a new product, a fitness tracker and smartwatch called “Microsoft Band.”

The gadget enters a crowded marketplace occupied by FitBit, Jawbone’s Up products and, sometime early next year, a big new competitor in that category, the Apple Watch.

So what does Microsoft’s Band do differently? It has a clever rectangular touch screen with customizable “tiles” for everything from heart rate to email and Facebook alerts and Starbucks payments. Like other devices of its kind, it can track sleep patterns and exercise. Unlike most others, it has a UV sensor to tell you what kind of ultraviolet light you’re getting outside. It costs $199, and this first version only comes in one style and color (black), but in three wrist sizes. It’s currently only available online or at the Microsoft Store.

I’m testing one out and will have a full review of Microsoft Band up soon on the Digital Savant blog, austin360.com/digitalsavant.

©2014 Austin American-Statesman, Texas

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