June 15, 2014
Google Reportedly Set To Enter The Mobile Health-Tracking Service Market
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Following in the footsteps of competitors Apple and Samsung, Google is reportedly planning to announce a new health-tracking service before the end of the month, various media outlets reported late last week.Forbes.com staff writer Parmy Olsen, who first broke the story on Thursday, explained the service will be known as Google Fit and will collect and compile information from other health- and fitness-related apps and devices. Her sources tell her that Google Fit will be officially unveiled during the Google I/O developers’ conference on June 25-26.
“Google Fit will aggregate data through open APIs, instruction sets that allow apps to share information, and will also announce partnerships with wearable device makers at its I/O conference,” Olsen said. “One source with knowledge of Google’s plans said Google Fit would allow a wearable device that measures data like steps or heart rate to interface with Google’s cloud-based services, and become part of the Google Fit ecosystem.
“It’s unclear if Google Fit will be a service build into the next version of Android, or a standalone app that Android users will be able to download independently,” she added. While the company has been quiet about its plans for the I/O conference, Forbes noted the Mountain View, California-based tech giant has scheduled multiple wearable-computing sessions during which the Google Fit service could be announced.
As Julie Bort of Business Insider pointed out, Google’s health-tracking service is similar to the forthcoming Apple HealthKit (which will be bundled with the soon-to-be-released iOS 8) and the SAMI platform announced by Samsung back in May. However, Google’s announcement is supposed to include existing fitness gadgets that have already been integrated with Google Fit.
“From what we’re hearing, Google Fit will track all sorts of health data, such as weight, heart rate, run times, body-building stats and more,” said TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis. “Fit APIs already exist for sensors, data reporting and app history. End users will be able to sync their Google Fit profiles to their Google IDs, which will make their data portable no matter what app or device they’re using. Like an OAuth for fitness, Fit will ‘make fitness tracking a basic functionality for phones.’”
HealthKit, announced by Apple earlier this month, will gather and combine blood pressure, weight and other health-related information collected by other personal care apps already available on the iPad and iPhone, according to Reuters. SAMI, on the other hand, is a health platform for third-party app developers, the new agency added.
“For what it’s worth, Google tried and failed at something similar to Fit with ‘Google Health’ in 2008. My guess is that mobile adoption (Android now has 80 percent of the market) will make or break its try this time,” Tsotsis said. “Of course, Google and Apple are not alone in their health kick, though they do have the best chance at winning the health-tracking game, especially Apple with its knack for humanizing software.”
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