Health and wearables startup Fitbit is the latest company to embrace Amazon’s fledgling Internet of Things (IoT) technology, with the news that you can now ask Alexa for your fitness stats using just your voice.
Fitbit claims to be the first wearables company to open up to Amazon’s myriad Alexa-powered devices, which include the Amazon Echo, the recently launched Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, and Fire TV.
From today, you can ask things like: “Alexa, ask Fitbit how I’m doing today,” to which Alexa may respond: “You have taken about 2,500 steps and been active for 20 minutes.” To set up the new skill, you must first enable Fitbit with your credentials in the Alexa app. Other example requests you can now make include:
- Alexa, ask Fitbit how I slept last night.
- Alexa, ask Fitbit how far I walked today.
- Alexa, ask Fitbit how many active minutes I have today.
- Alexa, ask Fitbit how many flights I climbed today.
- Alexa, ask Fitbit how many calories I have left.
- Alexa, ask Fitbit how much water I’ve had.
- Alexa, ask Fitbit what my resting heart rate is.
Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices leverage the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market, which brings ubiquitous computing to create smart homes. But Alexa’s usefulness relies on integrations with third-party products and services, of which we’re starting to see many — indeed, you can now play music through Spotify and access your bank account using just your voice. The hands-free assistant is always on and can also answer questions such as how the weather outside is or how busy the roads are.
Fitbit already supported Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant, so Alexa is a natural extension. “Our integration with Alexa gives you hands-free access to your data, so you can find out when you walk in the door at the end of the day what your step count is in seconds, and know if you need to go on a quick walk before dinner,” said Tim Roberts, an executive vice president at Fitbit. “As we look at how this integration could evolve in the future, there is an endless world of possibilities from fitness coaching and nutrition tips, to guidance before bedtime to help you get a more restful night’s sleep.”
It’s been a busy 12 months for Fitbit, as the San Francisco-based company went public last June, before going on to launch its first color-screened wearable, swiftly followed by a device for fashionistas. The wearables market grew by almost 200 percent in Q3 2015, and Fitbit found itself firmly at the top of the tree, ahead of Apple and Samsung.