Why does Microsoft Band count steps when I am riding in a car?

Why does Microsoft Band count steps when I am riding in a car?

“Redmond, we have a problem.”

OK – so this issue is not comparable to the emergency the astronauts faced on Apollo 13 and it is certainly not the end of the world by any means however, if you use Microsoft Band and travel in vehicles for a living then you may want to make some changes to prevent the accumulation of ghost steps on your Band.

In the last two weeks my family and I have travelled by car to Louisville, KY and Philadelphia, PA racking up over 3,200 miles across 13 states.  That of course means a lot of time behind the wheel and sitting in the car.

However, if you take a look at my step activities for those days you will see that I easily exceeded my step goals by walking around during those driving days.  I can vouch that except for gas stops I was not doing that much walking around. To clock up hundreds of steps during these travel days is a flaw that needs to be addressed but the Microsoft Band is not the only device I have had this happen with. 

I have seen the same phantom steps registered on the Fitbit Zip and Flex when I used to wear them so it is obviously an industry issue that needs to be solved.

Here are two examples from these trips:

15 May 2015 Ghost Steps with MS Band

On the above day we were in the car from 10 AM until 11 PM

10 May 2015 Ghost Steps with MS Band

On this day we were on the road from 9:30 AM until 10:30 PM.

When I shared some of this info on Twitter someone recommended that I make sure the Motion Data was turned off on my Nokia Lumia 1520 and it was.

Other than turning off the Band when you climb into the car to drive I am not sure how you otherwise prevent these ghost steps from being counted.

I also suspect this was happening as I traveled locally but did not notice the extra steps as I did after many hours in the car on these trips.

Are you seeing anything similar with your Microsoft Band or other wearables?

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