The Space Race, one of the catchier monikers penned during the 20th century, was an international competition in technological development that yielded financial rewards, national pride and global recognition. Although the stakes are not as high, a similar battle of intellect and invention exists today in the modern tech world, as top companies and startups alike labor to plant their flag atop the next historic digital breakthrough.
As it pertains to those seeking to maintain an active lifestyle, these corporate pursuits often overlap with the fitness industry. In recent years, fitness tracking has skyrocketed with the prodigious prominence of an Apollo mission. From the clip-on pedometers of the early part of the century to lightweight wristwear that packs everything but kitchen sink in wellness data for its users, these devices are now ubiquitous. While they are growing in popularity, they are shrinking in size. Motiv even offers a fitness tracking ring.
It’s unlikely that many people felt that the wearing of a ring was too excessive or an unbearable inconvenience. However, if they did, they might not even have to wear anything on their hands in the not-so-distant future, according to recent article this week from CNBC. Story author Todd Haselton detailed the news, writing:
A hidden feature inside the Alexa software shows Amazon has at least considered enabling the Echo Buds earbuds to track workouts.
This backs up CNBC’s earlier reporting that Amazon was planning to add fitness tracking features to the Echo Buds as part of an update code-named “Puget.” Amazon launched its headphones in October but has not yet talked about any sort of ability to track health or fitness.
The feature, which CNBC discovered on a test unit of Echo Buds paired with Amazon’s Alexa app, appears to be in a testing phase, and there’s no guarantee that Amazon will ever ship the feature. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the discovery.
But if Amazon activates the feature on the Echo Buds, it would mark Amazon’s first entrance into the fitness monitoring space, bringing into more direct competition with the Apple Watch and Fitbit, which Google announced plans to acquire last week. Amazon has been hiring healthcare experts and has a team within Alexa that’s entirely focused on health and wellness.
This news comes on the heels of Apple’s release of its new AirPods Pro, so consumers can expect this product innovation to continue while they enjoy the remarkable features of their audio device.
To read Haselton’s full writeup, click here.