LONDON -- Microsoft Corp. didn’t have a huge amount of success with its first fitness tracker but the company is set to try again with the Band 2 and ahead of its expected launch on Oct. 6, images of what it will look like have leaked online.
The leaked images were first published by Spanish website Microsoft Insider and, if accurate, show a heavily redesigned fitness tracker that features a curved screen similar to that seen on Samsung’s Gear Fit, which was launched last year.
The images show a band that combines a silicone rubber strap with a metallic surround for the screen as well as metallic buttons. Technology blog, the Verge, has confirmed independently that the Band 2 will have a curved screen though it has not confirmed the veracity of the leaked images.
Microsoft is holding a major hardware event on Oct. 6 where it is expected to launch its latest smartphones -- Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL -- as well as the Surface Pro 4 tablet, alongside the Band 2.
Microsoft’s original Band was laden with sensors. Along with the typical pedometer, gyroscope and heart rate monitor, it included a UV sensor to remind you when to put on a sun cream and a sensor to give you a galvanic skin response measurement that will be able to let you know when you are feeling stressed. It is unclear if the new Band 2 will retain some or all of these sensors.
The Band 2 is expected to continue to integrate Cortana that allows users to set timers and take notes about their workouts using their voices. The original Band worked with its Health app on iOS, Android and of course Windows smartphones, which follows the company's broader push to make its software available on as many platforms as possible.
The original Microsoft Band was criticized for being uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time and the company will need to address this issue if the new device is to be a success, considering that fitness trackers need to be worn constantly if they are to be really useful.