Fitness tracker maker Fitbit will now become a Google-owned enterprise with the official announcement on this coming through. The deal is worth $2.1 billion and the share price at which the transaction is being concluded is far less than the kind of highs the Fitbit stock had seen in its glory days. One key takeaway from this new acquisition is Google will get into the wearables business with its Wear OS and will compete with the biggies like Apple and Samsung. The other highlight is Google has realized the flak it gets for handling personal data and the company has promised that it will be very careful with the data it may collect when the wearables that are launched in the Made by Google range.
Google Wants to Work on the Health and Fitness Space
Google’s Senior VP Devices & Services, Rick Osterloh has written a blog on Google’s website on the Fitbit takeover and the way the company looks at the opportunity. Besides the Wear OS software that Google has up its sleeve and other technologies like artificial intelligence that it is capable of, the market should witness a new range of smartwatches soon. Whether these are launched under the Pixel Watch brand or in the Fitbit range itself or both, remains to be seen. The actual change of hands may happen only next year. There is, therefore, some time before the products are out in the market.
Osterloh has mentioned in his blog that Google will carry forward the focus that Fitbit had established over the years in helping people lead more active and healthier lives.
Data Privacy Will be Ensured
The other major concern for Google in taking over and managing the fitness tracker business is related to data privacy. Google has earned a reputation in the past and even some governments want to go after the company for flouting data privacy norms. One major complaint is that Google shares the personal data it collects with advertisers on its platform to boost its revenues. It is considered invasive by many. This time Google has committed that the data collected through the fitness trackers or smartwatches will not be used for Google Ads. The company has offered assurance that the data collected will be handled in a transparent manner and the decision to keep it or delete it will be left in the hands of the users of the devices.