Tracking Your Fitness Just Got Even Easier (And Maybe More Fun)
Fitbit and Amazon have joined forces to create hands-free activity monitoring
Fit tech has completely changed the way you think about daily activity. Trackers buzz and beep to remind you to move. Apps record every step you take, every salad you eat, and every, whoops, margarita you drink. Checking your phone had been second nature long before these diet and fitness apps came to town, so when you strapped on that smart watch or fitness band, opening the accompanying app to verify you're meeting your goal was an easy habit to add to your daily routine. Well, keeping up to date on your progress ("ah, it's 7 p.m. and I'm just shy of my 15,000-steps goal!") just got even easier.
Fitbit and Amazon have teamed up to bring voice-enabled health and fitness capabilities to Alexa, the "woman" behind the Amazon Echo-you know, from the Alec Baldwin Super Bowl commercials. Alexa uses voice control to play music, report weather conditions, even read to you-and now with a simple request, "Alexa, ask Fitbit how I'm doing today," you can hear your health stats without lifting a finger. (Looking for more ways to see if you're meeting your goals? Here, The Best Ways to Track Your Weight Loss Journey and Those to Ditch.)
"Our integration with Alexa gives you hands-free access to your data, so you can find out when you walk in the door at the end of the day what your step count is in seconds, and know if you need to go on a quick walk before dinner," Tim Roberts, executive vice president of Interactive at Fitbit, said in a press release.
Alexa is able to report on your activities-including your sleeping patterns (ugh, knew we shouldn't have stayed up watching Jimmy Fallon), activity level, and calories burned-for any day within the previous week. (Are you getting the most out of your fit tech? Read: The Right Way to Use Your Fitness Tracker.) The new partnership also makes it possible to have your own coach of sorts when you need a little pep talk. The words of encouragement are even tailored to the time of day. For example, if you ask about your step count at 9 a.m., Alexa could say "You've got to start somewhere," or "Try to take a walk today, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses." (If you've ever asked Siri a random question, you're probably familiar with how surprisingly spot-on-and funny-these "robot" responses can be.)
The new capabilities are available as of today for Fitbit app users (all of the brand's trackers will work) with an Alexa-enabled Amazon device. That means when you get home from a busy day (which is pretty much every day), you can fold laundry, wash the dishes, or, heck, even do some yoga, while Alexa reminds you just how awesome you really are.