Microsoft has beaten Apple to the wearable market with the launch of Band, a $199 devices that offers fitness tracking, email, voice communications using Cortana, Windows 8.1 and messaging capabilities.
Microsoft Band can track and assess movement and sleep patterns, and link with a smartphone or computer to analyse and display the data.
An accompanying app is available for Windows Phone, Android and iOS, and the Band works with social networking sites like Facebook.
Zulfi Alam, general manager of personal devices at Microsoft, claimed that the company has the big data analytics and machine learning technology to meet fitness and productivity challenges.
"Imagine you've set the goal that you want to get fit and lose weight as part of your exercise routine," he said.
"Based on your burn rate and exercise over one week, we will soon be able to auto-suggest a customised workout plan for you.
"As you follow that plan - or if you don't follow the plan - our technology will continue to adjust to give you the best outward-looking plan, like a real coach would do."
The device is a collaboration between Microsoft's Devices and Research teams, which have promised to add more productivity tools to the device in the future.
"I was incredibly excited because I understood that a wearable could be the next step for Cortana as a truly personal assistant," said Tim Paek, senior researcher in intelligent user experience at Microsoft Research.
"We needed to create the best fitness device, but how often are you really at the gym? Most people spend the majority of their day at work. This device needs to be a great productivity device as well, and Cortana integrated with Windows can provide that.
"There is lots of cool productivity stuff in the pipeline. There is a lot more to come that is going to blow people away."
Band will be launched initially in the US from 31 October, followed by a wider rollout in the coming months.
Microsoft also announced the launch of its Health business, which will let people share information gathered by the Band smartwatch with their health provider.
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