[Update 13/10/2016: 14:35]: It seems that this leak was, in fact, a prototype of the Band 2 and not the Band 3. However, with this false information, something interesting did emerge. One commenter said his company has received confirmation that it will build sensors for Microsoft. These sensors will be for a new fitness wearable.
There are a few possibilities. Microsoft could be making a Band 3 after-all. The company may be creating a new brand wearable or may be farming the technology out to an OEM. Of course, take this with a pinch of salt until Microsoft emerges with something official either way. Thanks for the tip Tony!
Microsoft’s fitness and health aspirations have taken a nosedive in 2016. So much so that the company has decided it will not make any more Band wearable fitness trackers. However, it is now apparent that Microsoft had actually started development on the Band 3 before pulling the plug.
New photos obtained by Windows Central show the Band 3. This is a prototype device that may look different to how the finished product would look. Of course, we will never know. According to a forum post, the prototype did not stray too far away from the aesthetic of the Band 2.
Although, it did address what was a glaring feature omission from the first two iterations. Microsoft would have made the Band 3 waterproof, something we consider as essential for a fitness tracker. That the Band and Band 2 did not have this feature was a huge let down. Either way, it would have been cool to see Microsoft finally include it.
Despite the lack of waterproofing, the Band line of products were actually good. They featured an array of sensors that were mostly unmatched by rivals. The Band 2 was admittedly plagued by a reputation for being fairly flimsy, but it looked good as far as trackers go.
However, Microsoft decided to kill off the product line. It is unclear exactly why, but there were likely two factors behind the company’s decision. Firstly, Microsoft is toning down its fitness output overall. The company is moving back towards services and software for companies/individuals. A consumer-oriented service will now be an afterthought.
Secondly, the Band and Band 2 just didn’t sell very well. It is no point the company continuing to churn out updated hardware if no one is buying.
It is worth mentioning that Microsoft will continue to support Microsoft Health through a rebranded “Band” service.