Pixel Watch Is Just the Start for Fitbit on Wear OS, Says Google's Wearables Chief
Pixel Watch Is Just the Start for Fitbit on Wear OS, Says Google's Wearables Chief
13:58

Pixel Watch Is Just the Start for Fitbit on Wear OS, Says Google's Wearables Chief

Smartwatches
Speaker 1: Hey everyone. We're so excited today to finally give you a complete look at our new flagship Google Pixel Watch, Speaker 2: Brand new watch, uh, for Android, um, but it's also a Fitbit watch. We're here with James Park, who is the head of, of Google's wearables, Armen, and has been head of Fitbit, and we're talking about Pixel Watch. Um, James, it's great to see you in person. Speaker 1: Yeah, great to see you again as well. Speaker 2: Yeah. We talked at IO [00:00:30] and the Pixel Watch looks like the arrival of what was promised, uh, as this, you know, this reinvention of where West. Do you imagine this being kind of the model for where the for, for where watches are going? Uh, Speaker 1: I think the hope is that it's the, um, you know, the best version that Google and PIC can collectively, uh, put forth. Um, and I think you can see it in the product. It has a lot of the best of Google. You know, it has the Google Home map, it has Google Maps, calendar, [00:01:00] uh, YouTube, and then, you know, one, one of the most killer apps for wearables today is health and fitness. So now, um, we're able to deeply integrate Fitbit functionality into the watch as well, which is great. Speaker 2: So the, for the Fitbit part, it's, it's interesting not knowing what to expect. And I know we, we got, I was anticipating that some features would be there, but not all. This looks like a pretty complete FITT experience. Speaker 1: Uh, I think that's one of the reasons that, you know, we've, we've waited for this moment is to make sure that we got the best of Fitbit into [00:01:30] this product. Because again, um, you know, one of the key reasons that people buy and enjoy and benefit from wearables is really getting the insights and health help around their health and fitness. So Speaker 2: Where do you see it in relation to, there are also these other Fitbit wearables that are out now, Fitbit Sense two, uh, the Versa four and some other, uh, trackers as well. Um, where do you see this in the lineup? Speaker 1: Uh, it's really about a portfolio approach. So the Google Pixel watch really is about being Google's flagship premium smartwatch that [00:02:00] has what we call personal intelligence in the form of Google apps, uh, combined with health and fitness. But because of the portfolio approach, we're trying to create devices and solutions that, you know, different price points, um, different feature sets, et cetera, so that it gives people, uh, different ways to enter the ecosystem. Speaker 2: And those are, uh, also iOS compatible. And I know that the, uh, the Pixel Watch, I think is, is for Android. Do you imagine that that's gonna be a, a clear differentiator going forward, or Speaker 1: We'll have to [00:02:30] see over time? I mean, today, really the, the Google Pixel watch is the best companion, companion for the Pixel phone. Uh, but clearly, you know, we also have a health mission, which is about making these technologies accessible and affordable to as many people as possible. So we'll have to see whether that evolves over time. Speaker 2: Yeah. In terms of, uh, fitness and, and, and health features, the heart rate feature, which is, which is very touted, has a very high ping rate. And it, it was interesting was mentioning there was like a once per second, uh, you know, heart rate check, um, sounds like it's, it's putting [00:03:00] itself in a, in a territory that's more like, um, fitness trackers and even kind of reaching a different level than other smart watches. Did you, how do you see it? Speaker 1: Well, uh, you know, the one thing I mentioned in, in the, the keynote was that heart rate is such the foundation of so many of the health and fitness experiences. So that's why we paid a lot of attention to it. There's a lot of investment in taking Google Machine learning expertise and applying it to the problem. Um, so it's resulted in, you know, the best heart rate tracking that Fitbits [00:03:30] ever developed yet. And it's the foundation of active zone minutes, our sleep tracking, our daily readiness score, et cetera. So again, it's, it's a critically, uh, important feature and again, one that we've invested a lot into. Speaker 2: It's something that when I look at some of the health sensor features that aren't on here, and I, I know around the sense too, things like temperature tracking, um, well, I guess blood oxygen is coming in an update, but, um, uh, stress tracking, um, it, it sounds like the, the heart rate, which I know is the [00:04:00] corridor, a lot of different things is being built up first and perfected. Like do you imagine other sensors kind of being added on to the platform over time? Speaker 1: Over time? Yes. So I think, you know, one of the things that we want to do is we want to release products that, you know, have really amazing fit and finish and polish and are, are bug free. So, you know, with Google Pixel watch again the investment and heart rate, and then you'll see other technologies and sensors around health and fitness, you know, move into this line of products over time. Speaker 2: Do you think that, [00:04:30] um, like 24 hours for Battery life sounds not bad, um, for smart watches, it's definitely different from other Fitbits. Like how do you imagine it in terms of use or you know, do you see that, you know, maybe getting better over time or, I know it's something that everyone's trying to deal with in smart watches. Speaker 1: Yeah, and with what we call sort of full OS devices, you know, whether it's running, um, you know, other competitive OSS or wear os like battery life is definitely a challenge when you wanna run things like Gmail or [00:05:00] calendar maps, et cetera. So it, it's definitely a, a challenging problem. That's why we also have the portfolio approach today. If you want a device with Super L Battery Life, we have the Fitbit line of products, um, which have some of the helpful features, but again, is more focused on fitness and health and, and longevity, battery life, cross platform compatibility. If you want the best of Wear OS and the best companion to the Pixel phone and that has, you know, true smarts and health and health and fitness, then you know, the Pixel Watch is where it's at. Speaker 2: [00:05:30] It's interesting too, because when I think about what this could be doing, I think about some of the new features with Cellular, with the, with the Play Store and with Fitbit being on board. Um, and with Google being, you know, what Google is, I mean, what sort of opportunities do you see coming? Because it sounds like Fitbit could also be unleashed to come up with some new ideas on a, on a very connected, uh, you know, Google and Android ecosystem. Speaker 1: Yeah, so, um, at, with Google and Pixel, [00:06:00] you know, what we wanna do is create a portfolio of experiences that work really well together and it's not just tied to the hardware as well. So I think one of the things that we wanna do with Fitbit is make it available on as many devices and experiences as possible, whether it's the watch or the phone or the tablet. Um, I'd, I'd hate to see it constrained just to, to one type of experience. Speaker 2: I have to ask, cuz I've, I've liked a lot of the Fitbit watch bases in the past and I know those are on the verse of things, or are some of those gonna come over or [00:06:30] do you imagine sort of, uh, like a, a cross pollination of those? Uh, Speaker 1: I mean, I think there's a lot of ideas that can cross pollinate. I think one of the challenges, you know, the, the Fitbit line of products as Aquile display, the Pixel, Google Pixel watch as a circle display. So I think there's definitely ideas that we can take, um, but we also want to create something new in terms of the experience as well. Speaker 2: When it comes to sleep, everyone's kind of exploring new ways to, to get there. Um, some, some methods are using, you know, bedside [00:07:00] sensors or, or not, or some are wearing their watches to bed. Um, do you imagine like the vision of sleep changing over time or, you know, do you, I'm, I'm curious about that cuz it's such, it's something that I start looking at a lot, Speaker 1: The sleep experience, how people sleep and, you know, any type of technology or tools that you use to improve it. It's, it's actually one of the more personal things around health and fitness. I think people are very sensitive to, uh, what they were in their body when they go to bed and the type of, [00:07:30] um, you know, technology that also gets introduced to the bedroom. So again, that's where the portfolio approach comes into play. We, we do have a Nest product today that can, uh, help with sleep tracking. If you don't wanna wear anything on your body, uh, if you're okay wearing a watch, we have the Google Pixel watch, we also have the sense and the versa. If you want something more minimal, we have something like the Inspire line of products as well, which are really much more slimmer, unobtrusive, etcetera. So I think it's really, you know, we, we have a solution that, that hopefully works for [00:08:00] somebody if, if improving their sleep is something that's really important to them. Speaker 2: Do you think that people would, with the 24 battery life, like, and I thought about this with these, with smart watches and sleep, do you, do you have any recommendations on watch for like, times to Recharge? Or is it sort of up to people to, to Speaker 1: Figure Yeah, so obviously I've been using the Google picks watch a lot. Um, you know, in development I've, I've gotten into a routine where, uh, usually it's in the morning for me when I, when I shower and then get dressed and then grab a quick bite, um, that's when I'll, I'll charge the watch and it's worked [00:08:30] really well for me. So I think again, uh, it it's, people are gonna have to find their own personal rhythm. There's no one size fits all, but there's um, definite and convenient ways to make it work. Speaker 2: Yeah, I think about that as I, as I start using it more for sleep tracking and for all these extra senses, it's something I wanna wear to bed and then I go, Okay, I'm gonna change my cycle a little bit and figure that out. Speaker 1: Yeah. But I think the great thing is that, um, you know, you should expect up to 24 hours of battery life. So that's really the, the key benchmark that we were trying to hit with this product. Speaker 2: When I think about heart rate, I [00:09:00] kind of asked before it, it's such a rich source of so many other, you know, potential signs of things. I know there's been other types of studies that have sprung up from it. Do you see the, the heart rate tracker on Pixel watch as being more adept at, at potentially pulling more data out of the, of the heart rate data? Speaker 1: Well, I think the idea of applying machine learning to data sets is still something that in health and fitness, it's still pretty early on. So I'm particularly excited to see like [00:09:30] what new insights we can, we can uncover. Because the prior way of developing these algorithms was something that we call heuristic space using rules, and it was very manual and you had a fine tune all these different parameters. Um, and, and it was a pretty difficult process. But now with machine learning, I think there's, you know, new things that will uncover along the way that I'm super excited about. Speaker 2: Also, I think about, uh, insights and serving up insights, uh, being aware of trends. I know those have shown up a lot on, [00:10:00] on Fitbits in the past with, uh, with Pixel Watch and with the, with the, with the software that's, that's in that uh, interface, do you see different ways to potentially evolve that? Speaker 1: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the benefits of machine learning, it'll be much easier for us to generate cross correlated insights. So not just looking at insights generated from one particular sensor like heart rate, but combining, you know, the output from heart rate with the stress sensor with data from sleep tracking, uh, et [00:10:30] cetera. And, and creating insights that, that kind of cross those different types of data. Speaker 2: And I know we talked about this a bit last time regarding, um, Google Fit and, and Fitbit. Is this a watch you're gonna want to use mainly Fitbit for, or does Google Fit kind of come into the picture there? Do you see that those two kind of intertwining or are they gonna remain pretty separate? Speaker 1: Yeah, so Google Fit will continue to exist, but you know, we consider fit the Fitbit experience to be the flagship primary health and experience for, for [00:11:00] Google users. Speaker 2: And do you see too the, um, there, I guess in a similar way of insights, there seems like a lot of opportunity for Fitbit powered, um, parts of the experience to make their way into more apps. Uh, do you see opportunities there? Because now that you have Google Play and, and a lot of that, um, it seems unleashed to possibly a lot more partners? Speaker 1: Yeah, absolutely. Not only Google Play, but um, you know, we just announced Health Connect as well, which is the Android ecosystem's way of sharing health [00:11:30] and fitness data between different devices and services. So I think that's a big way to unlock even more potential. So us being able to import data from other devices and services, especially ones that we wouldn't develop ourselves. And then, you know, the, the inverse, which is exporting, uh, Fitbit health and fitness data to other services as well. So I think you're gonna see, um, just a lot of cool things happen now that health connects, you know, available to developers. Speaker 2: I know something else I wanted to ask, which was, [00:12:00] uh, words on the design, um, looks really sharp. It's one size and I was thinking, you know, is that something, did you think about making this in different sizes or do you feel, is that something you might plan to do or do you feel like that's the, that's the one for everyone? Speaker 1: I'll, I'll have to go back to the portfolio approach. I can't, again, talk too much about the roadmap, but, you know, we wanna make sure that there's a solution for, for everyone's needs in the future. Speaker 2: I haven't tried the cellular future yet, but, um, are there other things that you see cellular factoring into with, [00:12:30] with Fitbits? I know there's some, uh, uh, fall detection SOS capabilities. Are there other things that that might, uh, play in there? Yeah, Speaker 1: I think the emergency SOS fall detection is a great use case of lt cuz I think, you know, the past people have always struggled, well what's the use case for LT wearable if, if you might have your phone. But I think one of the, you know, exciting things and, and, and possibilities for wearables with cellular capabilities is that over time it just starts to gradually, uh, [00:13:00] take over more and more functionalities of, of the phone. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and figuring out those use cases and making them really helpful and useful to, to people is gonna be, uh, really exciting job for me and the rest of the team and especially the product managers, designers, engineers. Speaker 2: With music being so much a part of fitness and with music being more available on this watch, do you see, uh, more interplay between that with Fitbit and, you know, will there be music playlists or, you know, things that [00:13:30] tap into suggested uh, playlist routines? Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Like music and fitness just are so tightly linked together and go hand to hand. I think the first step for us was just making apps like Spotify and YouTube just available on a device and then, you know, after that the possibilities are obviously pretty endless. Speaker 2: Well it's great talking to you and uh Yeah. Curious to try it out, <laugh>. Speaker 1: Yeah, right. Thanks for chatting.

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