Google strengthens its position in connected objects with the purchase of Fitbit.
Google has formalized the purchase of Fitbit for $ 2.1 billion. An investment that should allow the US giant to strengthen its position in connected objects and more specifically in the wearables, these devices that are worn on oneself as connected watches, rings or even jackets.
Towards a Google Pixel Watch?
Google’s hardware manager, Rick Osterloh, confirmed the new Friday morning and also said there would be some new Made in Google connected devices. With this acquisition, the American firm finally gives itself the means of its ambitions. Fitbit will offer an effective and robust fitness platform with a large user base. All data collected – sleep, weight, heart rate, etc. – make it possible to build databases that turn into demographic observations and much more.
Google has been offering its Wear OS platform for several years now, but this brand is not very popular, especially compared to Fitbit wristbands. We can imagine that Google capitalizes on Fitbit to expand its universe, even get rid of the name Wear OS. A strategy that would be similar to that of setting up with NEST in the field of connected home.
Develop the ecosystem
Fitbit has more than 28 million active users. The connected objects application provides many community features. If Google finds a way to exploit all this (and not to make it scary or invasive), it will be a good starting point for developing an ecosystem.
Google also has plans for more in-depth coaching and AI guidance in health and fitness, which is what Google’s next smartwatch was supposed to introduce. Recall also that Fitbit was supposed to get FDA clearance for sleep and heart rate measurements, most likely for cardiac arrhythmias and looking for signs of sleep apnea. An important element to set the course in connected health and compete with the Apple Watch.
Data at the heart of the concerns
But the biggest concern is where all these fitness and health data will go next. In the Fitbit press release announcing the acquisition, it states that the company ” never sells any personal information and that Fitbit’s health and well-being data will not be used for Google ads ” . A Fitbit spokesman declined to comment further on the acquisition.
Heather Dickinson, Corporate Communications Manager for Google Cloud added, ” As with our other products, including Fit, we will be transparent about what data we collect and why, and we will never sell personal information to anyone. The Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads and we will allow Fitbit users to view, move or delete their data. “