Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park has revealed that the company wants to launch its own wearable app store.
Speaking in an interview at CES, Park said he wanted to launch a dedicated store "as soon as possible" and that building one would be helpful for employers and health care companies that use Fitbit's fitness trackers for corporate wellness programs.
Read this: Which Fitbit tracker should you buy?
"There are so many different applications [our partners] want to write," Park said, "from fitness-related ones to pill reminder applications. And we don't have the support in place for that right now, or any software infrastructure on our devices to run those apps."
No doubt that process of getting one built will be helped by the recent acquisition of smartwatch maker Pebble. Fitbit spent around $40 million to inherit Pebble's software assets including engineers, many of which would have worked on developing Pebble's own app store. Park commented that Pebble had "worked out a lot of the kinks" that go into building an app store.
The arrival of an app store appears to be another big hint that a Fitbit smartwatch is in the works as well. Park has already hinted that new form factors are being explored. After launching the Blaze, its first smartwatch-like device last year, 2017 could be the year that we see Fitbit take on the Apple Watch, Samsung Gear S3 and Google's new Android Wear watches.
Fitbit decided to kick off 2017 with some big software updates including a new Facebook feed-style Community section for its companion app, a new Fitstar personal trainer app and bringing guided breathing features from the Fitbit Charge 2 to the Blaze.
After launching four new trackers last year, it looks like Fitbit is making a bigger software push to further refine those devices. But don't be surprised if we're talking about new hardware before the year is out.
Source: The Verge