Band 3

Leaked Microsoft Band 3 prototype : The best wearable Microsoft never released

Technology

While Microsoft killed its Band wearables, a leak emerged of what was believed to be the canceled 3rd-gen model. Well, that’s true — and it tells a much about what Microsoft was thinking before it pulled the plug. Windows Central has received a Band 3 prototype and given it a shakedown to see how well it would have worked. The truth to the rumors is that big deals were the additions of waterproof, swim tracking and (most importantly) an electrocardiogram sensor to track your blood pressure. We now know that the Band 3 can tell if you have stressed out, check your body temperature or otherwise monitor your health beyond the basics of like heart rate and calorie burn.

It was also going to address some of the Band 2’s design problems. The Band 3’s clasp was very thinner, so you could have an easier time slipping it under a shirt cuff. It seemed to be stronger, too. And charging was significantly faster — you had a full charge in an hour instead of the 1.5 hours of its predecessor. There is RFID tag supported, though that was not working.

When you combine that with the latest Xbox Watch leak. There is a clear pattern: Microsoft was completely committed to wearable hardware until it made an about-face sometime in 2016. Although there was not been a formal explanation. It seemed that Microsoft decided that wearable tech just was not worth the effort has given modest sales and fierce competition. This may also be part of a broader strategy where Microsoft cut its work on underperforming products (such as Windows 10 Phone) in favor of more reliable or promising businesses such as Windows on PCs, mixed reality, cloud services and the Xbox.

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