Google’s big plans for wearables could include workouts from your TV

Google has but to launch its first smartwatch, however the firm could already be engaged on the following steps for its wearable plans. In accordance with a Protocol report, Google is planning to combine health trackers into Google TV and Android TV as a part of a broader push to strengthen its product ecosystem. The query is whether or not the traditionally fragmented Put on OS platform is up for the problem.

The corporate purportedly laid out the plans at a closed-door occasion with its TV companions, Protocol stories. The thought is to let Put on OS and Fitbit customers broadcast real-time metrics like coronary heart price and energy burned on the display. Higher sensible dwelling controls are additionally a part of the plan. That mentioned, these efforts could take some time. Google’s health plans supposedly received’t present up till 2023 on the earliest, with sensible dwelling efforts coming the next yr. That is partly as a result of Google’s companions need to create extra highly effective sensible TVs and streaming devices to allow all of this.

Within the quick time period, the corporate can be reportedly engaged on beefing up its wi-fi audio gives on the platform. That features enabling Nest audio system to work wirelessly with TVs in addition to bringing Quick Pair to its Pixel Buds in order that customers can extra simply use them with Google TV gadgets.

If all of this sounds acquainted, that’s as a result of the plans look an terrible lot like what Apple’s completed with its Health Plus service and sensible dwelling choices. Apple Watch homeowners can take video exercise lessons the place their real-time metrics are displayed on the Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad. (And beginning with watchOS 9, customers will be capable of broadcast real-time metrics on non-Apple TVs by way of AirPlay.) You can too use the HomePod or HomePod Mini with the Apple TV 4K to create a house theater setup. You’ve additionally been capable of pair AirPods with Apple TVs for ages.

The factor is, Apple’s all the time had a walled backyard, and that makes it simpler for it to attain its imaginative and prescient of devices that “simply work.” There are slight variations between the varied Apple Watch variations, however total, you’re getting a uniform Health Plus expertise throughout all Apple gadgets. It’d be one factor if this Google TV health tracker integration was for the forthcoming Pixel Watch alone. But when it’s meant to be appropriate with any Put on OS or Fitbit machine, Google has to determine learn how to create an identical expertise throughout disparate gadgets.

Whereas Google satisfied Samsung to affix forces in making a unified wearable platform, Put on OS 3 reveals indicators of the identical fragmentation that stymied earlier variations of the platform. The Put on OS 3 we’ll see on the Pixel Watch will probably be totally different from the Put on OS Powered by Samsung on the Galaxy Watch 4. Each of these are totally different from the stripped-down Put on OS 3 on the Montblanc Summit 3 I’ve been testing this previous week. Whereas the Pixel Watch and Galaxy Watch 4 are Android-only, the Summit 3 helps iOS. Plus, each the Galaxy Watch 4 and Montblanc Summit 3 require a separate companion app to regulate the smartwatches. All three watches will run on totally different chips, sensors, and well being options. Theoretically, these variations shouldn’t matter, however historical past tells us they possible will in the case of ecosystem-based experiences.

Fragmentation isn’t essentially a foul factor, but it surely’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it affords extra selection, and selection is the spice of life. Performed properly, Google’s ecosystem may have robust third-party assist. Utilized to interactive at-home exercises, it could possibly be an enormous potential energy for Put on OS going ahead. If Peloton or Obé, as an example, have been to have a Google TV app that seamlessly labored with Put on OS or Fitbit gadgets, that will be extremely cool. Google wouldn’t even need to shell out to supply health content material in-house as Apple does.

However, it means Google has to work intently with third-party companions to make sure all of us have an excellent time. The Put on OS ecosystem has a number of transferring elements, every of which must work pretty properly to maintain the entire thing going. One weak hyperlink can convey every part to a grinding halt. Living proof, Put on OS’s troubles weren’t completely Google’s fault. Qualcomm didn’t have a wearable chip highly effective sufficient for the platform to play on the identical discipline as its rivals. (Although, which will quickly change.) Outdated {hardware} fueled software program stagnation, which led to lackluster smartwatches. It’s a vicious cycle that Google is simply now beginning to break.

Put on OS 3 — and Google’s ambient computing imaginative and prescient — remains to be in its awkward transition part. We don’t know Put on OS 3’s last form, and there will be extra rising pains forward. Proper now, the Pixel Watch isn’t out but and neither is Qualcomm’s new wearable chip. Fossil has but to drop its first Put on OS 3 flagship lineup, and Fitbit has promised a premium Put on OS smartwatch someday sooner or later. That mentioned, it’s immensely encouraging to see that Google is considering large and has plans for the platform past the Pixel Watch. Hopefully the gamble pays off.