Microsoft has revealed that its much-anticipated Band wearable is going to arrive in the UK next month.
The Microsoft Band will go on sale from April 15, costing £169.99, and is now available to pre-order from both Microsoft stores and Amazon, Curry’s PC World, Dixons Travel, Harrods, and O2.
“The UK is a mature mobile market with 7 in 10 adults regularly accessing the internet via mobile devices,” Matt Barlow, Microsoft’s general manager of new devices, wrote in a blog post announcing the news.
“Recent studies have shown an increase in adoption of both free and paid health and fitness apps and devices, and we’ve seen research that suggests an estimated seven million people are already using fitness-focused wearable devices in the UK, with that number expected to nearly double by the end of 2015.”
“All of this makes the UK a natural next step for the introduction of Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band.”
First announced back in October 2014, the health-focused Microsoft Band is compatible with Apple, Android and Windows Phone. The reveal follows reports that the Microsoft Band had initially sold out in the US following its launch there.
The Microsoft Band is Bluetooth 4.0 enabled and has ten sensors in total that includes optical heart rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer/gyro, gyrometer, GPS, ambient light sensor, skin temperature sensor, UV sensor, capacitive sensor, galvanic skin response, and a microphone.
It comes with a capacitive 1.4″ TFT full colour display, with a resolution of 320 x 106 pixels and measuring 11mm x 33mm in size. The dual 100mAh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery promises two days of power between recharges, but GPS usage can impact this. That said, a two day charge puts the Microsoft Band well ahead of its competitors, most of which need to be charged at least once a day.
The Microsoft Band also comes with the Microsoft Health app, which reveals that the band will store and sync its data to the cloud. It will also apparently integrate with Microsoft Office.
Analyst firm Juniper Research recently predicted that the number of smartwatches worldwide is expected to pass 100 million within the next five years, as the range of devices on the market increases dramatically. Recent research from YouGov found that the UK public is keen to embrace the smartwatch, with the penetration of wearable devices in the UK expected to more than double by September 2015
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