Perhaps bouyed by what I wanted out of it, I have to admit the Apple Watch wasn’t quite what I expected. I was in the camp that guessed/hoped/wanted Apple’s wearable to be more fitness band than watch. Even with the flood of smart watches hitting the market in the last year or so, I figured all of the signs were pointing toward something different from Apple — Nike dropping their Fuelband hardware, the limitations of battery technology, and the relative commercial disappointment of the existing wearables. But Apple pressed on with their vision, concentrating their wearable strategy on fashion rather than utility (though I expect there will still be plenty of utility … eventually) while simultaneously hewing to the popular convention of why such a device exists. Or, maybe not.
But my hopes are not yet dashed, for there is an unlikely hero waiting in the wings. To my surprise, Microsoft of all companies, released the device of my dreams (almost). The Microsoft Band is Redmond’s take on a fitness tracker, that seemingly takes the under-ambitious do-what-you-can-do-well-and-iterate-later approach that often characterizes Cupertino’s take on such devices. The Microsoft Band is not a bug the crap out of you wrist notifier, but instead that quantifiable-self stenographer in the background, recording your every move (and non-move).
For the past few years, I feel like I’ve been shedding my Microsoft skin, abandoning the 90s dominant Windows platform for the trendy Apple platform. I’m not alone in thinking that there have been a few missteps in Redmond, but in the immortal words of Harry Dunne I say this to you, Microsoft: “Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself!”
Photo Credit: Microsoft