According to a new report, Google has big plans for the future of Android TV, which include smartwatch and fitness tracker integration. Assuming the details are correct, Fitbit and Wear OS users will be able to combine their Android TV device and a compatible smartwatch or tracker to participate in video workout sessions — in fact, Protocol sources claim the feature could be available as early as next year.
Google announced plans to acquire Fitbit in 2019, a business transaction that was completed in 2021 for $2.1 billion. The move sparked speculation about Fitbit’s future and the role it might play alongside Wear OS, which is undergoing a major revitalization thanks to a recent deal with Samsung and the impending arrival of Google’s first Pixel smartwatch powered by the platform. In the same vein, Google gave Android TV new life with the release of Google TV, which is essentially a smart TV experience built on the Android TV foundation — not to be confused with the old Google TV dongle, which didn’t last as long as the Chromecast.
Google TV may integrate wearables for at-home fitness
Though Google has not responded to the rumor, Protocol claims on behalf of unnamed sources that the company intends to open the door for third-party interactive workout products that would leverage Google-branded smartwatches and fitness trackers — that is, it would work with Fitbit devices and wearables running Wear OS. The sources claim that users will be able to view their workout and health metrics on the TV screen during a workout, including their real-time heart rate and how many calories they’ve burned, after being made aware of the plans during a meeting in July.
The move would not be surprising, as such technologies have grown in popularity in recent years, thanks in part to the pandemic and the resulting shift away from going to the gym and toward at-home workouts. Peloton is arguably at the forefront of this industry, and it has even brought a similar system to users’ televisions through the Guide camera. The major disadvantage is that at-home dedicated fitness platforms are frequently expensive. A fitness-focused integration between Google TV and Fitbit, on the other hand, would allow many consumers to leverage hardware they already own — or get started at far lower costs, as the Chromecast with Google TV costs only $50, while Fitbit trackers start around $80.
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Aside from that, this is said to be the beginning of a larger effort to combine the smart TV platform and Google’s IoT ecosystem, effectively transforming one’s television into a portal through which one can view their smart camera feeds (no doubt from Nest products) and control various aspects of their IoT-equipped homes. According to the report, the latter plan may not be available to consumers until 2024.