With the advent of the fitness-focused wearable, everyone suddenly became a lot more conscious of their health. Fitbit introduced blood oxygen saturation monitoring for many of its existing smartwatches earlier this year, and now the company is giving customers a new watch face to easily check SpO2 levels at a glance.
After a recent leak spoiled the surprise, Fitbit has just announced its three big new products for 2020. The headline product comes in the form of the brand-new Fitbit Sense, the company's most advanced health-tracking smartwatch to date. At the same time, both the Versa and Inspire series get iterative updates that add enough new features to make them worth considering.
Google’s plan to acquire Fitbit has come under fire for the potential misuse of users’ health data, stalling the deal announced in November. In the meantime, Fitbit is continuing to work on its smartwatch range, and we could see some new product launches pretty soon. A WinFuture report details that Fitbit will add a new high-end timepiece named Sense to its lineup, along with new iterations of the Versa and Inspire series.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Google may have announced its intention to purchase Fitbit last year, but deals between large corporations like this move slowly. Regulators in both the US and EU have expressed concern about the world's largest ad company gaining access to potentially sensitive health data gathered by Fitbit's wearable devices, and Google's reassurances haven't helped. After an initial review by the European Commission, it has decided to press ahead with an in-depth investigation into the merger that is expected to be completed by December 9.
Google set out to acquire fitness company Fitbit in November of last year, but the deal hasn't gone through all the required regulatory approvals yet. There have been concerns that the acquisition could lead to reduced competition and Google extending its apparatus of data-collecting for targeted advertisements, and now advocacy groups around the world are urging governments to closely investigate the deal.
For many people, Fitbit is synonymous with fitness trackers, but the company has faced new challenges from smartwatches in recent years. The Fitbit Charge 4 signifies a change, even if it doesn't look too different from its predecessor. The tracker packs everything you could want from a fitness tracker, and you get basic smartwatch capabilities like notification management, Spotify controls, NFC payments, alarms, and more. However, its $150 price tag may make it a tough sell when a smartwatch like Fitbit's own Versa 2 often goes on sale for the same price.
You would think that smartwatch shipments fell sharply this year due to many people being confined to their homes during lockdown orders, but the market is alive and well with a 12% growth compared to last year's first quarter, according to Canalys. However, the news isn't great for every player: Apple's and Fitbit's share annual growth turned negative while Huawei, Samsung, and Garmin are the winners of Q1 2020.
Fitbit offers some of the most popular fitness trackers, and many people use the brand name to describe any health band. With that recognition, four iterations of the Charge on the market, and some ventures into the smartwatch space with the Versa and the Ionic, you should think that the company already got millions of devices into customers' hands. The Play Store listing seems to confirm as much — the Fitbit app has just reached 50 million installs over the weekend.
Google has been making a big deal about its Assistant for a long time now, going so far as to call it "your own personal Google." It's made it onto phones, Chromebooks, and smart speakers, but it's never been available on a third-party smartwatch — until now! According to code found in the latest version of the Fitbit Android app, the company is working on adding integration with the Google Assistant.
Wearables capture a whole lot of data about us, far beyond heart rate graphs and activity estimates. Fitbit (soon to be owned by Google) thinks it might be able to use some of that data to help with the current global pandemic to build an algorithm that could detect COVID-19 before you notice symptoms yourself. The company is currently inviting anyone who has the disease, has previously had it, or who otherwise has flu-like symptoms to participate in its research.