Google Acquires Fitbit
Are you an aficionado of wearables, such as Internet-connected smart watches that help keep track of your physical fitness activities and deliver messages without needing to grab your phone? These devices are not only convenient, they can help during emergencies, as they let you summon help with a tap even if your smartphone’s out of reach. So, wearable users took note of news on November 1, 2019, when Google announced it is acquiring Fitbit, a pioneering company in the world of wearables. The $2.1 billion transaction is slated to be completed sometime in 2020, pending regulatory approval.
The Future of Wear OS?
The impending sale of Fitbit to Google has industry observers wondering what this arrangement could mean for the future of Wear OS. Previously known as “Android Wear,” Wear OS is the operating system designed by Google for wearable devices like smartwatches.
Fitbit devices currently use their own operating system and are incompatible with Google’s Wear OS. A report from Macworld notes the sale “could mean that Fitbit will be folded into the Wear OS and Pixel lines rather than continuing to operate as its own standalone company.” James Park, CEO of Fitbit, called the sale an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS. It might mean, for example, that health data will be more accessible to people.
With Google putting programming resources into Wear OS to support its expanded use, there may be more options for end users looking to take advantage of apps with wearable systems. As Android Headlines put it, “It sounds a whole lot like Google’s plans for Wear OS will end up merging with Fitbit’s platform for a new and improved Wear OS down the line.” The sale of Fitbit to Google still must be approved by government regulators, but if the deal goes through sometime next year, you can expect to see some interesting new offerings from the company.