Microsoft Band
New patents are hinting at a new Microsoft Band fitness tracker. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Looks like consumers haven’t seen the last of the Microsoft Band yet. Two new patents are apparently suggesting that a new version of the fitness tracker could be in the works.

Just last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published two patent applications from the Redmond-headquartered technology company. Both documents appear to detail new technologies of a wearable device that Microsoft may be secretly working on.

The first patent, US 2018/0116547, is for a ring-shaped skin sensor that’s designed to form an electrical connection with human skin. As detailed in the application, the sensor will be used in detecting the stress level or other characteristic of the wearer via electrical conductivity.

Because using one skin sensor wouldn’t suffice when users are moving their wrist, Microsoft is thinking of putting two skin sensors on the wearable. The illustrations included in the patent application actually show a Microsoft Band-looking device. PhoneArena believes the new skin sensors are just updates to an existing technology because they are placed on the same area where similar sensors were located on the previous Microsoft Band model.

The second patent, US 2018/0116600, details blood pressure estimation by a wearable computing device. Basically, it is a blood pressure-measuring technology — something that other companies are also developing as of late. As stated in the document, the technology uses a machine learning model and some sensors.

Microsoft acknowledged the prevalence of hypertension in the world population in the patent, so it is working on a technology that could provide accurate measurement of blood pressure and help in managing the condition through regular monitoring. The Apple Watch smartwatch is already capable of detecting blood pressure with the help of third-party devices. So Microsoft is going for a more advanced technology that would allow its fitness tracker to measure blood pressure on its own, as pointed out by WSFA.

Though both patents strongly hint at a new version of the Microsoft Band, it is still important to note that not all patents end up becoming real products. Companies patent their inventions and new technologies, but not all see the light of the day. Besides, Microsoft has yet to confirm anything at this point.

The first Microsoft Band was announced on Oct. 29, 2014 and was released in limited numbers in the United States the next day. The following year, the Redmond giant launched the Microsoft Band 2. Though touted as the most advanced fitness trackers, the two never really caught on, according to The Verge. The tech news site was also the first one to claim that the wearable series was no more in 2016 because Microsoft removed the devices from its online stores.