Business Today - - CONTENTS - Il­lus­tra­tion by Raj Verma

Wear­ables, es­pe­cially watches, are all about fit­ness. Now,Google wants to throw in a spe­cial as­sis­tant

Wear­ables, es­pe­cially watches, are all about fit­ness. Now, Google wants to throw in a spe­cial as­sis­tant.

WEAR­ABLES ARE al­ways fo­cussed on ac­tiv­ity and fit­ness for want of some­thing bet­ter to do. The abil­ity to track in real time has opened up new op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­pa­nies to tack on fea­tures based on the data from smart­watches, rings and even ear­buds. Beem United’s ear­buds, for ex­am­ple, mon­i­tor heart rate so that with a glance at the com­pan­ion app, you can pace your­self as de­sired. Soul Elec­tron­ics goes a step fur­ther to keep tabs on how you are run­ning by mea­sur­ing ca­dence, stride and other pa­ram­e­ters, which will en­hance the rou­tine. The com­pany also lever­ages user data and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to give rec­om­men­da­tions on run­ning.

Smart­watches for main­stream con­sumers are also cen­tred on fit­ness fea­tures, with Ap­ple lead­ing the way with Ap­ple Watch. Of course, no out­right coach­ing is in­volved here, but there are al­ways en­cour­ag­ing mes­sages to mo­ti­vate a user to meet the day’s tar­get or keep up the ex­er­cise the next day. Some prod­ucts such as home­grown Go­qii smart­band have a hu­man coach as­signed to each user. Dis­cus­sions be­tween the coach and the user (usu­ally via e-mail and mes­sen­gers) mostly in­clude nu­tri­tion and ex­er­cise goals, but some ex­ten­sive ad­vice is also pro­vided.

Now, Google is plan­ning to put a coach­ing fea­ture into its next watch, ac­cord­ing to the web­site An­droidPo­lice. Re­ferred to as Google Coach, for now, it will come up with smart no­ti­fi­ca­tions based on a user’s ex­er­cise and eat­ing pat­terns. Given that Google al­ready has so much data on its users, it can un­doubt­edly de­velop al­go­rithms to make sug­ges­tions that will be more than or­di­nar­ily use­ful be­cause these will be ex­tremely per­son­alised.

For ex­am­ple, if a user missed a work­out on a par­tic­u­lar day or for sev­eral days, the Coach could give spe­cific ad­vice on ap­pro­pri­ate work­outs to ease her back into the ex­er­cise rou­tine. Al­though de­tails are sketchy at this point, it is not dif­fi­cult to en­vis­age how proac­tive sug­ges­tions will work. Sleep­ing late could be cor­rected by en­cour­ag­ing a bet­ter rest pat­tern. Log­ging one’s food in­take could also gen­er­ate bet­ter diet choices. En­tire meal plans for the week can also be made as Google is of­ten aware of the user’s cal­en­dar. In case you use Google Tasks and Re­minders, it will even know your task list for the day and sync the same with


daily ac­tiv­ity and health plans.

Not ev­ery­one would take kindly to be­ing nagged by tech­nol­ogy to do some­thing in a cer­tain way and get con­stant ad­vice and sug­ges­tions via no­ti­fi­ca­tions, even if these are clubbed into man­age­able chunks. On the other hand, many peo­ple may wel­come the help. Ac­cord­ing to An­droidPo­lice, this fea­ture could be ex­tended be­yond the smart­watch to smart­phones, Google Home speak­ers and tele­vi­sion.

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