The problems are due in some measure to Wear OS’ middling health features, which were the focus of a user survey conducted to find out what people would fix about the watches.
Google’s survey focused on the ways the company could possibly accentuate and improve Wear OS’ health features, many of which have been used on competitors’ similar watches and trackers. Some of those ways include automatic workout detection, irregular heartbeat alerts, breathing exercises, reproductive cycle tracking and extensive sleep tracking devices that included apnea detection and smart alarms.
Google also wanted to gauge interest in things like pairing with gym equipment and medical devices.
Other potential additions are less common, such as SPO2 (blood oxygenation) tracking, indoor air quality and micro-logging of activity.
Google hasn’t said what features, if any, it actually plans to add in the future. But the move signals that the company wants to compete with Apple, Samsung and others which have seen success selling smartwatches.
Google’s acquisition of health company Fitbit could help the efforts to bolster its fitness programs, as Fitbit boasts 28 million users. Google announced late last year that it intended to make a deal with the fitness company for around $2.1 billion in cash. The company said it wants to work on artificial intelligence technology to improve its fitness bands.
In doing so, Google promised users’ personal information would not be sold and that it would be transparent about any dealings with said data. Users will have the freedom to review data and to move it elsewhere if desired.
However, the acquisition of Fitbit has raised concerns for those concerned about antitrust and privacy issues, with some of those concerns being about the mass amount of data being under an umbrella as large as Google’s.