When it comes to tracking your steps and monitoring your calories, there's nothing quite like a personal assistant on your wrist to give you the nudge (or, um, kick) that you need to stay on track. So when Microsoft introduced its latest wearable technology, the Microsoft Band, I jumped at the chance to take it for a spin. Unlike a lot of other fitness tracking devices, the Band has a discreet touchscreen on the surface that lets you check your stats with a quick tap--no fumbling with your smartphone required. Here, some of the coolest features.
Not only does it sync with your smartphone to provide you with a detailed breakdown of your activity, the Band can also create guided workouts to suit your fitness goals. Fitness partners, like Gold's Gym, provide routines that tackle various problem areas, then prompt you to get started with alerts on the Band.
GPS Run Mapping
I like to shake up my running route, and the Band makes it easy to keep track of my twists and turns. The run mapping feature saves the routes I jog (while monitoring my speed and pace), and lets me rank my favorites so I can repeat them in the future.
Big-Picture Sleep Profiles
Sure, it's nice to know how much I've tossed and turned in one night, but it's even more useful to see my sleep patterns over time. The Band's corresponding app charts the quality of my sleep so I can consider what adjustments might be useful, like changing the temperature in my bedroom to prevent me from waking up consistently during the night.