Winning Wearables

The race is on. Much like hearables rapidly became a major category for tech companies and their voice assistants to compete in, we are starting to see the same happen in the wearable space. After Amazon announced their Echo Loop product last month and Apple shared plans for AR glasses a few weeks ago, we’re now met with the news that Google has bought Fitbit— a major statement of intent to make wearables a category they can own. Like all their other surfaces, we anticipate Google Assistant and voice playing a big role here and fitness data helping to unlock new use cases for the technology.

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Fitness by Google

Google has announced that it is purchasing Fitbit for $2.1 billion. The deal will reportedly be similar in nature to the current structure of their Nest acquisition, making the wearable company fully a part of Google. It’s likely that Google’s Assistant will play a big role here and be integrated into these devices in the future. Notably, Fitbit has stated that data generated from wearables will not be utilized for Google Ad products.. More on The Verge.

Alexa Gets Personal

Amazon has rolled out a new capability called Alexa Skill Personalization. This allows skills to leverage user’s voice profiles “to create a personalized experience for different customers, so [skills] can address preferences, remember settings, and differentiate between household members.” Some skills already utilizing this personalization capability to enable personal greetings, user account access and customized content include: Uber, Vodafone, 7-minute workout and more. More on Amazon.

Office Assistant

New details have leaked regarding Microsoft’s Cortana showing the assistant continuing its pivot from all-around assistant to productivity and Office-focused application. In a new video, the assistant is seen to be integrated more deeply with Microsoft’s Office software and accessible across various Windows devices. Features highlighted include the ability for Cortana to read and manage emails, operate calendars and assist in scheduling meetings. Additionally, users are offered both female and male voice options. More on OnMSFT.

Stats Don’t Lie

90% – Projected amount of new vehicles with voice assistants embedded sold globally by 2028 (data via Automotive World)

160 Million – Samsung Devices with access to Bixby voice assistant. (data via Voicebot AI)

Chart of the Week

Voice Assistant Device Answers 2019
(data via Search Engine Land)