Google Wants Your TV To Be Best Friends With Your Fitbit

Google has big plans for the future of Android TV, and they involve smartwatch and fitness tracker integration, at least according to a new report. Assuming the details pan out as claimed, Fitbit and Wear OS users will one day be able to combine their Android TV device and compatible smartwatch or tracker to participate in video workout sessions — in fact, the sources that spoke with Protocol allege the feature may arrive as soon as next year.

In 2019, Google announced plans to acquire Fitbit, a business move that was finalized in 2021 with a $2.1 billion price tag attached. The move spurred speculation about Fitbit's future and the role it may play alongside Wear OS, which itself is looking toward a big revitalization amid a recent deal with Samsung and the upcoming arrival of Google's first Pixel smartwatch powered by the platform. In the same vein, Google also breathed new life into Android TV with the launch of Google TV, which is essentially a smart TV experience built upon the Android TV foundation — not to be confused with the old Google TV dongle, which didn't have the same longevity as the Chromecast.

Google TV may integrate wearables for at-home fitness

Though Google hasn't commented on the rumor, Protocol claims on behalf of unnamed sources that the company plans to open the door for third-party interactive workout products that would leverage smartwatches and fitness trackers that exist under the Google banner — that is to say, it would work with Fitbit devices and wearables running Wear OS. The sources — who were reportedly made aware of the plans during a meeting in July — claim that users would be able to view their workout and health metrics on the TV screen during a workout, including their real-time heart rate and how many calories they've burned.

The move wouldn't be surprising, as such technologies have become very popular over the past few years partly due to the pandemic and the resulting shift from going to the gym to at-home workouts. Peloton is arguably leading that industry, and it has even brought a similar system to users' TVs via the Guide camera. The big downside is that at-home dedicated fitness platforms often come with heavy costs. In contrast, a fitness-centric integration between Google TV and Fitbit would allow many consumers to leverage the hardware they already own — or get started at far lower costs, as the Chromecast with Google TV only costs $50, while Fitbit trackers start at around $80.

That aside, this is said to be the start of a wider effort to combine the smart TV platform and Google's IoT ecosystem, effectively transforming one's television into a portal through which one can view their smart camera feeds (from Nest products, no doubt) and control various aspects of their IoT-equipped homes. That latter plan may not arrive for consumers until 2024, however, at least according to the report.