Image source: Google

From data to action: The next step in Fitbit’s journey with Google’s AI

At a time when Fitbit’s hardware releases have been as sparse as a desert, Google has announced that Fitbit’s app will, soon, get new features powered by generative AI.

The rise of AI: A defining trend with new developments

The influence of AI in the wearable tech sector has become more profound and personalized in 2023. Companies in the wearable tech sector are not just spectators; they’re active participants.

Zepp Health has been first out of the blocks with its AI-powered Amazfit watches. Then we have Whoop which recently introduced an excellent AI chat feature. It’s clear that AI is not just a buzzword; it’s becoming the backbone of new features and services.

Google’s announcement of building a large language model specifically for health and fitness tips, dubbed the “Personal Health Large Language Model,” is a testament to the evolving landscape. This model is designed to offer personalized advice based on data from Fitbit and Pixel devices, as detailed by today’s press release.

New dimensions to Fitbit Labs and Google’s Health initiatives

The upcoming features, powered by Google’s Gemini AI model, promise to deliver more actionable health insights directly to users. To us this sounds like an extension to the Fitbit Labs initiative that we reported on last year. In fact, Fitbit is partnering with Google Research on the project.

This will basically be a new feature in the Fitbit smartphone app. It will use AI to provide deeper insights into your health metrics.

So what sorts of things will it be able to do? Well, while Fitbit has always been good at telling you how far you’ve run or how well you’re sleeping, The AI integration aims to give you deeper insights. Why did today’s run feel harder than yesterday’s? Why are you not sleeping well? The insights and coaching feature will use generative AI to connect various data points to answer these questions.

One of the standout features is that this will be a AI chatbot that can carry a conversation in conversational language. Instead of just spitting out numbers; it will contextualize them. For instance, if you felt that a recent run was particularly grueling, the chatbot will look at your sleep patterns, recent workout history, and even the incline of your running route to provide a comprehensive answer as to why.

Fitbit Labs AI

Basically, the AI will have access to all your historical data, and gather its insights from this. Most likely, the chatbot will also have access to aggregated data of the entire database of Fitbit and Google wearable users. At least, to the info of those that give permission.

Interestingly, the chat-bot will not only stop at verbal feedback. It will also have the ability to provide visual aids like charts to show trends in your recent runs or workouts. This will result in making the data more digestible and actionable. While a handful of other wearable manufacturers have implemented chatbots, none of them come with this type of ability.

Pixel phone owners get first dibs

According to the limited info that is currently available, the AI chatbot will initially roll out to U.S. sometime in 2024. Pixel phone owners with a Google Pixel Watch or Fitbit wearable will get first dibs. This move is a clear nod to the growing synergy between the two companies, and it’s a sign of more integrated features to come.

While Fitbit’s hardware releases have been limited in the past 12 months —Charge 6 being the lone wolf—the wearable tech pioneer is clearly pivoting. The focus is shifting from merely tracking health metrics to understanding them, from hardware to software.

Google’s health AI doesn’t stop with Fitbit. With projects like MedLM for Chest X-rays and partnerships aimed at leveraging AI for diagnosing conditions like TB, breast cancer, and lung cancer, Google is aiming for a new standard in connected health tech.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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