There is an unwritten role in the mobile community; speed and engagement is what makes products successful. Companies looking to compete in the mobile environment should bring their products to market quickly, while providing maximum functionality to the user. While these may seem to be common instructions for anyone in the digital space, regardless of their industry, we are moving towards a time where newer companies won’t be considered competitive without a digital app.
Those who have read my previous pieces on the Microsoft Band know that I am certainly a fan. The device is easy to use, reasonably fashionable and records the information I’m interested in tracking. To move the device forward in its lifecycle and align with some of the requirements demanded from the market, Microsoft updated the Band in April 2015 with additional fitness interfaces to cycling apps and launched a full Software Development Kit (SDK), which again expanded the device’s capabilities, allowing developers to build apps specifically for the device.
On July 9, 2015, Microsoft extended these capabilities once again in a Band Web Tiles Preview (PDF), which allows the device to interface directly with data on the internet, specifically Microsoft’s cloud services. This enhanced development capability allows access to the type of information that aligns directly with Microsoft’s mobile-first, cloud-first message.
As the Band moves towards its first anniversary in October, my prediction is that we will see another update that allows developers deeper access to the product. Whether it is a further data enhancement or interface to other applications, Microsoft appears deeply committed to the long-term success of the Band. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see deeper integration and connectivity into off-the-shelf heart rate monitors and support for third-party apps.