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article imageAmazon's Alexa partners with Fitbit to remind you to exercise

By James Walker     Mar 17, 2016 in Technology
Amazon has released a new update for its Alexa digital assistant on the Amazon Echo. Alexa now integrates with exercise tracking app Fitbit, letting you ask how active you've been, tell Alexa to register a new activity or hear supporting prompts.
The collaboration between the two companies was announced in a press release today. Owners of the Amazon Echo and other supported devices can access Alexa's new fitness commands by saying "Alexa, ask Fitbit," followed by a supported command.
The integration includes many of Fitbit's core features. Alexa can access data including step count, resting heart rate, active time and hydration level, adding a new way for Fitbit owners to stay on top of their stats. Encouraging prompts keep you motivated throughout the day, turning Alexa into a personal fitness coach.
"Working with Amazon and Alexa to create this new skill provides a completely new and fun way for Fitbit users to stay on top of their health and fitness goals," said Tim Roberts, Executive Vice President of Interactive at Fitbit.
"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. As we look at how this integration could evolve in the future, there is an endless world of possibilities from fitness coaching and nutrition tips, to guidance before bedtime to help you get a more restful night’s sleep."
Saying "Alexa, ask Fitbit how I'm doing today" will provide an instant snapshot of your activity so far in the day. It makes it easier to interact with Fitbit without having to pick up your phone and open the app, creating a new casual way to check your exercise.
Amazon isn't the first company Fitbit has worked with to add voice control to its app. Fitbit already integrates with Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant on Windows 10, letting you record activity and food consumption using only your voice. Alexa has a broader range of capabilities though, in part due to the always-on nature of the household digital assistant.
"We’re thrilled to add the Fitbit skill to our Alexa-enabled devices — this skill brings a whole new level of convenience for customers who are looking for new ways to keep track of their health and fitness goals," said Rob Pulciani, director of Alexa at Amazon. "With the recent launches of Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, even more customers will have access to unique and helpful Alexa skills such as this integration with Fitbit. More experiences are moving to voice, and it’s only going to get better for our customers."
Alexa is best known for its presence on the Amazon Echo, a smart speaker that has proven to be unexpectedly popular. It is one of the best-selling products in the home and entertainment section of Amazon and has received attention by a range of third-party services. Fitbit joins over 300 "skills" available for the Echo and its Alexa assistant, letting you control your music, check the weather or turn up your smart thermostat using only your voice.
The new Fitbit skill is compatible with all of Fitbit's fitness trackers, including the new Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Alta devices. It can be enabled by downloading the skill from within Alexa's companion app and works with the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV, Fire TV Stick and Tap.
More about Amazon, amazon echo, digital assistant, Alexa, Fitness
 
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