The Google Assistant can switch on the lights, preheat your oven, and queue up a custom playlist of your favorite tunes. Now, thanks to Swedish developer Lifesum‘s eponymous voice app, it can also double as your nutritionist.
Lifesum today formally took the wraps off of its Google Assistant app, which launched earlier this year in preview. Like Lifesum’s apps for the Apple Watch, Android, and iOS, which now have a collective 30 million users, Lifesum for the Google Assistant allows you to log metrics like meals, water intake, and body weight. The difference is that it’s voice-driven and hands-free, and it offers daily challenges tailored to your dietary targets.
“People are leading increasingly fast-paced and busier lifestyles, so we wanted to offer a fun, innovative, and time-efficient solution to help users track their food and water intake using just their voice,” Henrik Torstensson, Lifesum CEO and cofounder, said in a statement. “We have a strong human tendency to avoid doing things that cost your brain energy and time and to just maintain the status quo, and so using voice as a tool makes tracking much easier and simplifies the user’s journey toward a healthier lifestyle.”
It’s pretty easy to use. Lifesum on the Google Assistant can log meals like breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and snacks and provide tips based on the size of each meal logged. (For example, it might recommend ways to alleviate heartburn after a particularly indulgent supper.) A command like “Track a glass of water” or “Add three bottles of water” kicks off the water-tracking feature, which keeps tabs on your progress toward the recommended daily minimum. All the while, Lifesum syncs your recorded body weight across all of the platforms where it’s available.
The aforementioned challenge feature tasks you with activities designed to hasten you toward your fitness goals. Tell the Lifesum Google Assistant app to “Give me a challenge” and it will ask for your location, which it’ll use to suggest an appropriate challenge. A few include “Fill up your water bottle and put it somewhere you can see it” and “Get the sugary stuff out of sight.”
“With our [c]hallenges, we set a low bar for our users and hold their hand as we slowly raise it,” Torstensson said. “The reward of accomplishing these daily actions has a lasting, positive impact on people’s self-confidence and reinforces healthy behaviors.”
The debut of Lifesum’s app for the Google Assistant comes two years after the startup raised $10 million in a round led by Nokia Growth Partners, following a partnership with food and juice bar Crussh in the U.K. and a $6.7 million seed funding round. But as impressive as that might seem, Lifesum’s not the only activity-tracking startup that’s raking in serious dough.
Freeletics raised $45 million in December, months after Aaptiv — the self-described “Netflix of fitness” — in June secured $22 million from Amazon, Disney, and others. Both compete to a degree with wellness apps like Pause, Shine, BioBeats, and Digg cofounder Kevin Rose’s Oak, a few of which have attracted tens of millions of dollars in financing. Calm raised $27 million at a $250 million valuation in June, while Headspace brought in a $37 million round last summer.
They — and Lifesum — aren’t isolated examples. According to Markets Research Future, the global fitness app market could grow to up to $2 billion by 2023.
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