Microsoft Updates Band SDK
New features in SDK allow more expanded health-tracking capabilities for Visual Studio developers who want to develop apps for second-generation Band.
The Microsoft Band team last month updated the Microsoft Band Software Development Kit recently with an expanded Tiles display limit as well as a number of new sensor subscriptions. The release came on the heels of the release of Microsoft Band 2 back in early October.
Microsoft Band 2 improves on its predecessor slightly, with a few new health-tracking features and a bit longer batter life. The expanded health-tracking features are part of the SDK, now that Band 2 is able to track items such as elevation and location, and provide health information tailored to specific activities, such as golfing (for which Microsoft provides a ready-to-use app).
According to a post on the Visual Studio blog from Maria Kang, Program Manager, Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health, the Band SDK update includes an additional five sensors:
- galvanic skin response (electrical conductivity of the skin in kohms)
- barometer (air pressure)
- altimeter (elevation)
- RR interval (time between heart beat peaks)
- ambient light
on top of the initial nine available with the first Band. The increase in features tracking allows Band 2 to maintain competitiveness with popular devices out now, such as the FitBit. Also new is the ability to display up to 13 Tiles, up from eight in Band 1.
Band 2 SDK also allows use of PDF417 bar codes, a style of bar code that's used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for driver's licenses in many states to make them RealID-compliant.
Developers who want to target new features of Band 2 can get the bits here.
Version 2 of Microsoft Band retails for USD$250 (the first version debuted at $199), but during the holidays some sites have cut the price about $50.
You Tell 'Em, Readers: If you've read this far, know that Michael Domingo, Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief, is here to serve you, dear readers, and wants to get you the information you so richly deserve. What news, content, topics, issues do you want to see covered in Visual Studio Magazine? He's listening at email@example.com.