The project was put to rest in 2012, as users didn’t like much the idea of having their health statuses just piled up without receiving useful feedback. Two years later and soon after Apple rolled out its own HealthKit app, Google tries again: the newest Google health service, called Google Fit is going to
collect and aggregate data from popular fitness trackers and health-related apps, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the company’s plans. It will launch the service at the Google I/O conference for developers, being held on June 25 and 26.
Sources close to the company and quoted by Forbes Magazine also said that the 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.
While Google didn’t comment yet upon the news, the waters have been already stirred. It is clear that the newest Google health service is a direct response to Apple’s HealthKit. While the HealthKit is definitely a feature that gives people feedback related to their fitness status and other health parameters, Google Fit is said to only gather the data and have it available for analysis and aggregation.
However, what nobody knows yet is whether the newest Google health service would be released as an app or a part of the Android operating system. Journalists consider that the smartest way to release the Google Fit is to make it an app available to all Android users:
There’s a very good chance that Google will take a different route and push out its service as an app instead. The company is obsessed with gathering and analyzing data and the more it can gather, the better it can make its products.
The Forbes experts are right on one thing though: if the customers don’t understand the immediate benefits of using the Google Fit app, it is not likely they will access it and use it. While Apple’s HealthKit is embedded in the iOS and delivers reliable, palpable results to the users, the Google Fit may repeat the mistakes made with the Google Health back in the day.
Besides the privacy concerns related to a tech company piling up intimate health data from the users, there is the concern that at some point, we will be wearing two or three smart health devices on us that track our health parameters and aggregate them into one large pool of information.
Are we really ready to wear who knows how many smartwatches, smart-bracelets and sensors upon us just to know how many steps we walked or how high our temperature is? The good thing is that we don’t have to wait too long for the big news coming during the I/O Developer Conference.