In Two weeks, during the Google I/O seminar, which happens on June 25 and 26 of this year, Google is expected to divulge their Google Fit health tracking platform. The platform will become an aid that will compile data from all other health care gadgets that people utilize, such as Fitbits, Samsung Simbands and Nike FuelBands. However it is not yet certain if Google Fit will be an App that people can download individually, or a feature that is fabricated right into Android. Either way, it stands to reason that Google fit will be used in both of these areas: one to collect the data directly, and the other to store the compiled load of data. Google is also expected to name a few makers of fitness devices that have gadgets that are already compatible with Google Fit.
Six years ago, Google made a play to try to gain entry into the health industry. It launched Google Health, but unlike Google Fit, which Google hopes to divulge later this month, it was not made into wearable devices. Instead, it was made to be a medical records keeper for patients, which was intended to appeal to health officials as well. However, success was not achieved and Google closed that service down after only 3 years of being barely used. In March of this year, Google released a new operating system, called Android Wear. The mini computing devices were wearable, like smartwatches and smartbands. Motorola and LG were also in the running this time around the health tracking gig, as they revealed their own models of tiny health tracking devices, like the Motorola Moto 360 and the LG G Watch.
Google Fit seems similar to Apple’s HealthKit and Health App, which Apple had announced at its developers symposium, and has announced it will be releasing with its new iOS 8. Like HealthKit, Google Fit will allow the sharing of information with third-party apps, and store the information in one place. Google has also let it be known that they are working with makers of devices, such as HTC, Asus and Samsung. They are working together to make wearable devices that are compatible on the same operating system. In spite of this, Samsung has created a health podium called SAMI, short for Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions. SAMI is software that is open source, and will be used to store the main critical health issues of users.
The markets in health tech are exploding, so to see such high-profile companies as Google and Apple instituting support for such devices is not surprising. A survey done in late 2013 by the Consumer Electronics Association suggests the rise of consumer demand in wearable health tracking devices. Buying devices created for health tracking quadrupled in 2013. The Google Fit service that Google is expected to divulge towards the end of the month has the potential to become a big hit with those who capitalize on the benefits of health tracking devices. In lieu of recent mobilized acts by other companies, who have started to roll out their own versions of what they see as consumer demand, the estimated 17 million shipments now is expected to grow to 45 million by 2017. This number may be off due to many more businesses producing alike devices of the same caliber. One thing that every company will have to address is the privacy issue. The who, what, why, where, when and how’s of it will need to be ironed out if any company wants people to confide such personal information to them.
By Korrey Laderoute