"Alexa, ask Fitbit how I’m doing today," is the latest phrase you didn’t expect to be saying to your living room in 2016.
Starting today, users of both Amazon’s Alexa voice service and Fitbit wearables can ask Alexa health- and fitness-related questions on any Alexa-enabled device. A list that now includes the Amazon Echo, Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap as Fitbit becomes the first wearable company to offer stats through the Alexa voice service.
Alexa recognizes requests for activity data from any day within the previous week including sleep data, active minutes logged, and calories burned. It'll even offer encouraging support based upon your progress with responses like "you’ve got to start somewhere," or "try to take a walk today, but don’t forgot to stop and smell the roses."
An endless world of possibilities
"Our integration with Alexa gives you hands-free access to your data, so you can find out when you walk in the door at the end of the day what your step count is in seconds, and know if you need to go on a quick walk before dinner," said Tim Roberts, Executive Vice President, Interactive at Fitbit. "As we look at how this integration could evolve in the future, there is an endless world of possibilities from fitness coaching and nutrition tips, to guidance before bedtime to help you get a more restful night’s sleep."
Today’s announcement sees the Amazon brand added to the Works with Fitbit program. Fitbit users can enable the new skill from the Settings section of the Alexa app. Then go into "Skills," select Fitbit, and link your Fitbit account when prompted.
Amazon's Alexa has made a stealth entry into the home thanks to the surprise success of the Echo speaker, an Amazon best seller that already supports over 300 third-party skills. These range from checking your bank balance and the weather, to controlling the lights and music in your home, to ordering pizzas and Uber rides. Alexa's main advantage is in its hands-free interface that allows owners to interact with Alexa from anywhere in the room — no need to fish a smartphone out of the pocket or bag, unlock it, find the appropriate app, and then click the required function. Alexa is frictionless computing at its best.