Google has announced that it will acquire wearable technology major Fitbit for $2.1 billion. With this deal, the Menlo Park-based tech giant is looking to better its WearOS, as well as introduce its line of wearable devices. Google already has offerings like smartphones, smart speakers, a cloud gaming service, and more in its hardware portfolio.
"Today, we're announcing that Google has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Fitbit, a leading wearables brand," Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Devices and Services, Google, said in a blog post on Friday.
Under the deal, Fitbit will directly join Google, similar to the case of Nest. The smart home solutions company was left as a separate division after being acquired by Google's parent Alphabet Inc. It was later wholly owned by Google.
Over the years, Google has made progress with partners in this space with Wear OS and Google Fit, but we see an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market," he further added.
Osterloh emphasised that "Google aspires to create tools that help people enhance their knowledge, success, health and happiness", but "privacy and security are paramount" in this venture. "Similar to our other products, with wearables, we will be transparent about the data we collect and why. We will never sell personal information to anyone. Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads," he assured.
Google has been present in the wearables market with its WearOS platform, but the company has failed to make a large impact on the market. Partnering with Fitbit, which has always been one of the forerunners in the segment, could finally help Google find a foothold in the wearables market. Fitbit's emphasis on fitness tracking could easily be integrated into Google Fit apps, allowing the company to compete against Apple Watch's fitness tracking with the iPhone.
Meanwhile, Google's work in terms of artificial intelligence and its developer support could help Fitbit develop smarter devices. Working closely with Google will also help Fitbit devices integrate better with Android.