Make sense of your health: Microsoft Band coming to the UK

17 March 2015 – Pre-orders start today with UK availability on April 15; Microsoft UK’s Director of New Devices, Leila Martine, shares her first-“wrist” experience.

Following the successful introduction in the US last year, we couldn’t be more excited to introduce Microsoft Health and the Microsoft Band here in the UK. Matt Barlow provides a good update on Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band which you can read in his latest blog post.

I am quite often asked to share my favourite features of the Band. At the heart of it, it’s about the real value that I get in a 24 hour day. Like a number of people, I’ve played with other devices and I’ve either been underwhelmed in the way it’s changed my behaviour or I’ve used them for a dedicated purpose but not consistently. What Microsoft Band does well is provide a first-rate fitness experience – but it goes beyond this to actually help me to live a healthier and more productive life each day.

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Leila works out wearing the Microsoft Band

But what does that mean? Let me share some examples from my day.

On the days I work in London I begrudgingly run to work. It takes the same time as the tube and I get to run past the Queen’s residence. Four months ago I had a hip injury. The Band was able to help me in two ways.  During my injury I tried to run a few times. Because the Band can monitor my heart rate and my pace, I’m able to make data-driven decisions that help me make the right fitness choices for me.  I’ve learned that I can in fact do other activities and that I’m not just a creature of habit. By using “Guided Workouts”, I’ve been able to have a “personal trainer on my wrist”, helping me build strength and capability which I can do anywhere – at home, at the hotel or at the gym.

While at work, I’ve also experienced really great uses for the Band. At first I was quite sceptical as I thought to myself, “do I really need MORE connectivity in my life?” I already spend the majority of my day on my phone and laptop, and I know that we look at our phones hundreds of times per day.  With all these devices it’s easy to feel bombarded with notifications. However, I’m surprised at how my Band has been more liberating than I ever imagined. I find myself in meetings without my phone glued to my palm. Instead, because I know my Band will send important things to me, or remind me of my next meeting – my phone is away and I am focused on the conversation in the room and mindful of the people I am with.

To round out my day… my precious sleep. I’ve generally been quite illiterate about my sleep despite cherishing it. Because the Band features 24-hour heart rate monitoring, an accelerometer and is backed by complex sleep tracking algorithms, I’m able to gain substantive insights into my sleep patterns. As soon as I started analysing my sleep efficiency, it has begun to help me truly understand how my habits affect my sleep and using this data puts me in control of whether I get a good night’s sleep.

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Leila analysing data from the Microsoft Band after her workout

Ultimately, underlying all of this is the advanced technology.   With the open, cloud-based Microsoft Health Intelligence platform and Microsoft Band’s ten sensors, we are able to provide an impressive amount of information and insights. We know that these insights can and will help people improve their habits on a daily, weekly and ongoing basis and help them reach their health and wellness goals.

I will end by saying that this is just the beginning of our journey with Microsoft Band in the UK – and we are really looking forward to hearing your feedback.

* Works with Windows Phone 8.1 update, iOS 8.1.2 and later, and Android 4.3-5.0 phones, with Bluetooth