Blueforce Announces Support for Microsoft Band 2
Microsoft Band 2 is what one would expect from Microsoft. It is not a single faceted device that merely sends steps or heartbeats. It also has the ability to receive commands from third party applications via a well documented API, and of course, the Microsoft approach to “platform” shines through. Blueforce committed very quickly to building for this platform. The band can serve as a biotelemetry sensor, but also provide context by exposing motion, steps, trajectory, and other high value-added sensor data. More importantly, the band can receive instructions to alert the user to include visual notifications on the Band’s display, but also haptic (i.e., tap on the wrist) notifications.
Here is what we really like about the Band 2:
- Motion: It reports pedometer, accelerometer, gyroscope, and altitude data
- Biotelemetry: It collects and can share galvonic skin response, heartrate, and body temp data
- Environment: It collects and can share temperature, barometric pressure, ambient light, and UV data
- Wrist based Application “Tiles”: Microsoft Band allows for Blueforce to push sensor and/or enduser specific mission data to the wrist.
More than anything though, we believe that the ability to alert and share data to the wrist of the operator is of great importance. Folks that deploy with Blueforce Tactical are not likely to put down their firearm or hose to look at data coming through a smartphone when they are knee deep in an incident response. Yet, those that we queried were more than interested in getting data and exception-based alerts to the wrist, especially when one considers that smartphone UI and sound-based alarms may not make it through the intensity of the incident. The Band’s haptic interface that “taps” the skin based on application alarms is a whole new way to alert people to important incident data.
We don’t often pre-announce products, but the Microsoft Band 2 presents great opportunity for public safety, defense and law enforcement.