The company that makes a good portion of the fitness trackers found around the world is to be taken over by the company that is used for a good portion of search, among other things.
Technology is awash with companies buying companies, and it can help many remain innovative. When a company takes over another, you generally see the technology from one absorbed into the other, resulting in a change for the products in the future.
We’ve seen it before and we’ll keep seeing it, such as is the case with the latest acquisition, as Google takes over Fitbit.
The deal was announced right at the end of this week, with Google essentially acquiring Fitbit for around $2.1 billion USD, telling you just big of a purchase it was.
As a result, the maker of the Charge 3, the Versa and Inspire, and plenty of other health-related gadgets will be rolled into Google, while the maker of Android and its own Wear OS wearable platform will likely start to use Fitbit’s smarts to make Wear OS more of a thing for consumers. That’s something Google has practically alluded to, as said by Google Play and Wear OS Vice President, Sameer Samat, who speakers of the opportunity for Wear OS.
“This agreement underscores our belief in how important wearable tech has become, and it’s also an exciting opportunity for Wear OS,” said Samat. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with Fitbit to bring the best of our smartwatch platforms and health applications together, and enabling our partners to build the next generation of wearables.”
That’s a pretty solid indication as to what’s going to happen, so the next Versa or Ionic you buy might be Wear OS based, instead of Fitbit’s own operating system.
For current Fitbit owners, the move to have Google own the company that was storing and tracking its health data might be a concern, but Google has said it won’t use any of that information for ads. What’s more, they’ll apparently have a choice as to what happens next with their data.
“Similar to our other products, with wearables, we will be transparent about the data we collect and why,” said Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President for Devices and Services at Google.
“We will never sell personal information to anyone,” he said. “Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads. And we will give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their data.”
As for Fitbit, the acquisition is one that its CEO and Co-founder says will help it do more, whatever that may be.
“Google is an ideal partner to advance our mission,” said James Park, CEO of Fitbit.
“With Google’s resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster, and make health even more accessible to everyone. I could not be more excited for what lies ahead.”
For now, your Fitbit should be totally fine, and you’ll likely keep receiving updates until the device reaches the end of its life. While Fitbit has yet to comment on the future of its current devices, it’s doubtful Google would have committed to such a large acquisition without acknowledging that it needs to keep the older devices supported until that point is reached, and possibly even after.
The question of what’s next is a little more unsure, but given that Wear OS is involved, we’d say there’s a pretty good chance that “what’s next” is a Fitbit with Wear OS made by Google. Watch this space next year.