This is a match made in data heaven. After a few days of rumors, Google announced on Friday that it will acquire the wearable device pioneer FitBit for $2.1 billion. This is important in an industry where warring technology giants fight for customer loyalty.
Forrester analyst Frank Gillett said to Mashable on the phone: “Not every day such a transaction takes place.”
The acquisition may have a profound impact on the business, indicating that Google is ready to compete with Apple on health and wearables, and that Google will continue to exist wherever it is. But if you are a FitBit user, what does this mean for you?
Overall, experts believe that change will come, but it will take some time.
Gillette said: “It is a big deal to integrate two separately built technology stacks, and there is no plan to integrate.” “We will not see full integration in two or three years. It will be very slow.”
But slowness doesn’t mean that everything will never change. Drawing on Google’s acquisition of Nest and the (slow) integration of Nest’s many clues, experts believe that Google has absorbed the changes that the wearable device pioneer FitBit may bring.
1. Welcome to the Google Ecosystem FitBit
If you are a FitBit user, it may be more convenient to use Google products. For example, maybe using Maps or Calendar is easier than other similar products. As another example, Gartner analyst Werner Goertz said that if Nest determines that you are not in town, you might be able to use FitBit’s position data to adjust the temperature or energy output.
Goertz said: “Integrating it into the entire Android ecosystem creates additional synergies.” “This is good for both Google and the end user.”
2. Make room, Alexa
Currently, FitBit’s smart watch Versa 2 is equipped with Amazon’s Alexa Smart Assistant. The truth is that Google has its own competitor: Google Assistant.
Experts believe that Google’s acquisition does not mean that FitBit will completely abandon Alexa. Instead, Google may integrate Google Assistant and give users the choice of which smart assistant they want to use.
Goertz said: “If you incorporate a FitBit device into the Google Assistant ecosystem, the system will tend to the Google ecosystem.” “But I don’t think Alexa will disappear completely because they want users to choose.”
3. New boss, new lewk
One of the reasons that FitBit lags behind Apple on smart watches is because it starts with a low-cost, simple fitness tracker and then has to be reassembled into more complex devices. You can expect Google to step in and find a way to keep FitBit accessible (in terms of price and simplicity), but improve its technical capabilities.
4. Make no mistake: Google wants that FitBit data
Google said in the acquisition announcement that your FitBit health data will not be used for advertising purposes. However, this does not mean that it will not be used to fill Google’s bottom line.
One of the biggest ways to do this is to use FitBit’s corporate business, where third parties can analyze aggregated anonymous user health data for employers and insurance companies.
Goertz said: “[FitBit] is more integrated in enterprise use than anyone else.” “This is the asset I think Google will use.”
In addition to these aggregated data, the goal of integrating FitBit into Google is to gain a deeper understanding of the customer through personalized data provided by the wearable device (such as location, or whether you often use FitBit).
Gots said: “This is not a competition with Apple’s smart watches, but an ecosystem competition.” “More about data and developing customer intimacy.”
In the end, Google may come up with more information on how to use FitBit to collect data (just like using Nest).
Gillet said: “Like Nest, Fitbit has no abnormal attention or attention to the data.” “But they will.”