I Bought Another Band; I am not Sure Why July 31, 2016Posted by Peter Varhol in Software platforms, Technology and Culture.
Tags: Microsoft Band
My original Microsoft Band, a nice and relatively inexpensive fitness tracker and GPS, is disintegrating before my eyes. The wristband is peeling and falling apart, and I doubt it will last much longer. It is getting more difficult to charge, as the charging cable seems to have trouble engaging with the device.
My Band is just over a year old, and I would expect any electronic to last longer, perhaps much longer (I still own a VCR, after all). I do use it almost daily, and wear it constantly except when charging (which it requires almost daily). I would like to tell Microsoft that, for all of its functionality at a reasonable price, it is an inferior product.
But I did so in a strange way; I just bought a new one. It is a Band 2, which by most accounts seems to be on the way out in favor of a possibly compelling Band 3, but I could not wait three months for that product to ship. I think my current model has about another 2-4 weeks of life ahead.
So for a product that is disintegrating after just over a year of use, why have I doubled down? Especially in a market where fitness trackers are mostly a dime a dozen, and I could choose another among many?
Yes, familiarity is one part of that answer. I know how to use it. Don’t discount that as a significant motivator. If I have to spend time learning a new feature set, I may take a while to get up to speed.
It is customizable. Within a fairly wide range, I can set up the type of information I want it to display. And I rather like the Microsoft Health app. While it may not be superior, it is easy to use within a fairly wide range of fitness activities. And it was my first experience with notifications from my phone (texts, incoming calls, voice mail), which I can’t really do without any more.
And while I complain at the rate at which my Band is falling apart, I also realize that fitness and activity technology is changing rapidly. I hope to have more compelling technology in the next purchase, and at a lower price.
Update: I bought my sister a Band 2 for Christmas 2015, and explained to her that I bought a new one because mine was falling apart. Her response: “Mine disintegrated last month, the clasp came completely apart. I did buy a new one, because I like it.” At least mine lasted a year.