Music might open the door to new uses for the activity tracker Microsoft Band.
The technology firm’s wristband, which debuted in late 2014, monitors a wearer’s heartbeat, calories and other health and fitness statistics. Microsoft on Wednesday evening hosted a private screening to debut the music video premiere of “Heartlines” from New Zealand brother-sister music group Broods in which the band used information tracked by Microsoft Band to help drive the visual effects appearing in the video. The gathering was held at the company’s Microsoft Lounge private event facility on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, Calif., which opened in late 2012.
“Think of it as the energy of the human experience, of performing,” said Steve Milton, founding partner of Listen, the Microsoft creative agency handling collaborations with artists and music events. “The goal was to figure out how we can bring that life to visually. It’s more about the creative expression [and] the idea of human performance translated into this visual aspect of the video.”
The Band specifically tracked the movements of Georgia Nott, whose brother Caleb Nott makes up the other half of Broods. Their use of the activity tracker is also a very different way of using the Band.
“This is pretty much the first time that we’ve seen a music artist use the Microsoft Band like this,” said Amy Sorokas, Microsoft director of strategic partnerships and brand strategy. “We’ve been looking for an artist that was interested in how the data the Band tracks could fit with their performance.”
Microsoft doesn’t disclose sales of the Band. An updated version is said to be due out in the fall.
The duo’s work with the Band is part of Microsoft’s Music x Tech platform, which is a content site launched a little over a year ago featuring various musical artists and how they’re using Microsoft technology in different ways.
“The interesting part about the project and what we’ve been doing with the Music x Tech program is we’ve been trying to inspire creative companies to do these kinds of things with our technology,” Sorokas said. “We think there’s opportunity for people in [the fashion] industry to think about how that data from a wearable like that could be used in a really cool way.”
Sorokas, when asked, said she personally isn’t involved in talks with any brands on the apparel or accessories side to use the technology but added she couldn’t speak for every person at the company.