Fitbit update adds snore detection and supercharges Google Assistant

Updated: Fitbit sleep analysis gets even better
New Fitbit update adds snoring detection
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Fitbit has confirmed it will add snoring detection to its fitness tracker range, as it boosts the sleep tracking prowess of its devices.

This is in addition to Fitbit OS 5.2, which is rolling out now. This brings a host of incremental improvements across the Fitbit range and is rolling out now.

Read on for a full rundown of what's being added.

Fitbit OS 5.2 quick look

Fitbit is launching a big update to its range of wearables. Not all of the changes are as big as snore detection, but do improve the overall experience.

  • New Fitbit Sense celebrations for met goals (see below)
  • You can see Fitbit Versa 3 night time blood oxygen saturation data on smartwatch, not just on SpO2 watch face and Health Metrics dashboard.
  • High/low heart rate warnings on Versa 3
  • The ability to swap between smartwatch clock faces from the device on Charge and Versa.

New Fitbit Sense celebration

New Fitbit Sense celebration

Fitbit snoring detection

Fitbit has confirmed it's looking to add snoring detection to its range. It's not going to be available to everyone quite yet, and it's launching as "an experiment that will role out to small number of users who have to opt in."

When sleep is detected Fitbit will turn on the microphone, which will then periodically listen out for snoring every couple of minutes. It will then monitor two things: snoring events and snoring intensity. This will be tracked among the rest of your sleep stats.

The Fitbit app will then rate the severity of your nightly snoring. “Mild” would be snoring for up to 10% of the night, while “frequent” would be in excess of 40% of the night.

We're testing the update now, to see how (or if) Fitbit would augment this with other data, including blood oxygen data which it uses to measure the likelihood of sleep conditions such as sleep apnea. It’s also unclear whether Fitbit would provide any insights into reducing snoring, or mapping it to other factors such as alcohol consumption.

And then there’s the added question of who is snoring. The microphone will have trouble detecting snoring between you or a bed partner. We’d have thought there was some way of mapping blood oxygen and breathing tracking to the audio of a snore.

And there’s more. The Fitbit app will also monitor the ambient sound as you sleep and rate your environment from “very quiet” to “very loud.” This would help point out any sleep hygiene issues. Potentially, taking action to make your bedroom quieter would improve sleep quality – although this is likely to be the hardest aspect to control.

Voice assistant love

And voice assistants are also getting a boost on Fitbit devices.

Google Assistant now has the jump on Alexa by offering audible voice feedback. This was previously just text based answers, but you now get an experience far closer to using a Nest or Google Home speaker. It should also be noted that these can be turned off.

It's long been speculated that Google would want a premium experience on Fitbit devices – which could include Alexa disappearing. That's far from the case, and both Google Assistant and Alexa are now rolling out to more countries with this update.

Fitbit OS 5.2 is rolling out now. There's no ETA on snore detection yet but we have asked Fitbit and will update.

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