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Follow-up: $199 Microsoft Band launches as flagship device for new Microsoft Health data platform

Who would have thought that Google and Apple would reveal Microsoft’s new wearable device before Microsoft did?

The Redmond company hasn’t yet officially announced its wristband sensor, but listings for companion apps on the Mac App Store and Google Play Store tonight are providing a first glimpse of the device, which will be called the “Microsoft Band,” along with a companion Microsoft Health service. An app is also out for Windows Phone.

The availability of the apps suggests that the officially unveiling is imminent, perhaps as early as tonight. Microsoft will be competing against a wide variety of wearable devices, but it’s hoping to differentiate itself by working across mobile platforms.

A related privacy policy for Microsoft Health provides more details about the features of the device, including integration with Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant. Here are excerpts from the privacy policy. The links aren’t clicking through to active pages yet.

Microsoft Band sensors help you keep track of things like your heart rate, steps, calories burned, and sleep.  To find a more detailed list of sensors, click here. We store sensor data used for product improvement separately from any account information that directly identifies you. Examples of types of activities you can choose to track are runs, workouts, and sleep. To find a more detailed list of activities, click here. The activity information collected from Microsoft Health service is used to operate and personalize the Microsoft Health service. The information you provide for your Profile, e.g., height, weight, gender, is used to calculate your activity results. …

When you start an activity that uses Global Positioning System (GPS) services, you have the ability to turn GPS on or off.  GPS information is used to record a map of your activity.  You can see the activity map in the Microsoft Health app.

If you want to share an activity and add a message, such as a “check out my great workout”, through a service such as Facebook, Microsoft does not collect the content of the message.

When you enable notifications on your phone, the notifications you select through the Microsoft Health service will display on the Band.  Microsoft Health service provides a channel for other apps on your phone to send notifications to the Band.  Microsoft Health service does not collect information about the content contained within the notifications.  Microsoft may collect usage information, such as, which tiles you’ve enabled for the Band and the number of notifications received.  …

When you set the Band to notify you about the weather, to determine where you are, the Band uses the location service provided by your phone.

There is a finite number of messages the Band will display for each notification.  When more messages appear older messages are removed from the Band.

You can choose which notifications show up on the Band by visiting Manage Tiles in your Microsoft Health app.  To clear current notification from your Band, turn the Band off.

We’ll have more information on the device as it’s available.

Via 9to5Mac and The Verge.

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