Wearable Tech World Feature Article
September 21, 2015

Microsoft Band 2 May Boast Stair Climbing Tracking, Other New Features

While some may doubt the value of the Microsoft Band, especially in light of all the other wristband-based technology currently on the market, a new version is set to make an appearance this October at an upcoming Microsoft event. New images, potentially of the device itself, have leaked recently, and have in turn provided some new clues as to its functionality.

Perhaps the biggest new development was a curved display, one that's better in line with the curve of a standard user's wrist. While there wasn't much noted about features, one critical addition to the lineup may have emerged: some believe that the curved display will couple with a new app to serve as a kind of fitness tracking mechanism geared toward climbing stairs. Those who enjoyed the presence of the Starbucks app on the original Microsoft Band will be happy to note that reports suggest it will make its way to the new version as well.

Image via Microsoft

But what's interesting here is the climate into which Microsoft is releasing the second version of the Band, or the Microsoft Band 2 as some are calling it. When the first Band came out, it seemed like Microsoft wasn't giving it a lot of thought, offering up just a few updates, and nothing particularly impressive in the process. But if Microsoft's releasing a second Band, it may mean the company has to put a little more into this version.

Throw in the next Surface Pro, meanwhile, and Microsoft has a real opportunity to snatch up some talking points and some media cycles ahead of the holiday shopping season, and that's the kind of thing that could give Microsoft some much-needed edge in the field. But that's going to require a bit of a product revamp, and that could in turn be just what the Band 2 might offer. Some have said that the key to success here will be the inclusion of more apps—and it's hard to buck that kind of logic—so if Microsoft's already making a productivity app that can help track those extra bits of exercise users get throughout the day, more power to it.

It's still going to be difficult for Microsoft to compete with all the other wearable devices out in the field, but in the end, the more Microsoft's Band 2 can do, the more likely it is to find an audience and make some sales. October should prove quite interesting for Microsoft users, especially as we see just how Microsoft retools its newest version of wearable tech for users.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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