Google wearable may signal an answer to Apple Fitness+

Today a Google brand fitness band appeared in USPTO filings with a unique feature. The unique feature is the absence of a feature – there's no display. This device might well be the first smart band made by a major brand without the ability to show fitness results without a secondary device.

Google fitness band

As discovered by 91Mobiles, Google has a patent filed for a fitness band – a very, very simple fitness band. The Google fitness band would motivate users to do their best without the foregone conclusion that this is only possible with a display read-out. No display, no data, no fuss, no muss. And a very low cost, more than likely.

If Google's "wristband for tracking fitness" is what its patent filings suggest, Google may start the year 2021 on a brand new avenue. This device would be able to be manufactured and sold at an extremely low price. Google might even be able to deliver the device as a sort of freebie – like they do with subscriptions to Google Stadia and the gear that goes with it, or the Google Home Mini.

Google has been inching its way into loss-leader products over the past few years in order to bring "OK Google" and the Google Assistant into homes around the world. With a device as inexpensive as the Google Home Mini, Google is able to make the product and the service both fun an inexpensive. Once the product is in the home, Google can begin to profit from all the services and add-ons to or with which the user is then encouraged to subscribe or buy.

An answer to Apple Fitness+

With an activity band like this, Google could bring the user in to the fitness fold by delivering the product for next to nothing, giving it away as a bonus with the purchase of a Pixel phone. Google's answer to Apple Fitness+ could then be a simple process.

As Apple Fitness+ requires the user to own an Apple Watch, Google's answer could be to deliver a fitness subscription service that requires only this no-display fitness band. People who would normally never have subscribed to any such service would then say: Why would I subscribe to Fitness+ with Apple when I could get this Google fitness subscription service for so much cheaper? But we shall see!