Cortana Picks Up Fitbit Skills

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, iOS, Microsoft Consumer Services, Mobile, Windows 10 with 11 Comments

Microsoft’s personal digital assistant just got a bit more active, thanks to the addition of the Fitbit skill for Cortana.

“With the new Fitbit skill for Cortana, you can easily monitor your health and fitness goals – just by asking Cortana,” Microsoft’s Gurpreet Singh Pall writes. “Users can access the Fitbit skill across devices and platforms, starting with Windows 10, Android and iOS, and, soon, on the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker.”

Microsoft announced a preview version of its Cortana Skills Kit at Build 2017 in May, providing developers to “easily create intelligent, personalized experiences for users.” (In the US only; I know, I know.) The Fitbit skill for Cortana is built on this Skills Kit.

The Fitbit Skill for Cortana can be found on the Cortana Skills Kit website. Basically, you connect your Microsoft account (for Cortana) to your Fitbit account, and then you can check on your fitness goals, stats, and progress using voice commands or the interactive UI. To get started, just open Cortana and say, “Hey Cortana, open Fitbit.” And Cortana will ask you to connect your accounts.

As the website notes, you can “learn how much activity you have had for the day, how you’ve been sleeping, which workouts you’ve done this week or even log food and hydration stats. Voice commands include such things as:

  • “Hey Cortana, ask Fitbit to tell me about my activity summary.”
  • “Hey Cortana, tell Fitbit I drank 12 ounces of water”
  • “Hey Cortana, ask Fitbit how far have I traveled today?”
  • “Hey Cortana, ask Fitbit how many steps do I have left?”
  • “Hey Cortana, ask Fitbit how many calories do I have left to eat?”

Pretty cool.

 

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Cortana Picks Up Fitbit Skills”

  1. Chris_Kez

    I'm surprised that by now Fitbit can't just plug into Siri or Google Assistant to accomplish this stuff. Windows Phone (via Tell Me) had third party integration five years ago.

  2. bfarkas

    Would have been nice when Band was still around....

  3. Lewk

    US-Only, again. WTF? I thought we were getting better at this?

  4. wright_is

    Doesn't work.

    "Hey Cortana open Fitbit" opens Edge with a Bing search page for Fitbit...

  5. graple

    Just linked by Fitbit Alta HR and Aria scales to Cortana and it works like a charm. This is really nice. Now I don't even have to open the app to add information. This is fantastic!

  6. peterh_oz

    Bring back Band. But make it reliable.

  7. Martin Sjöholm

    I'd love to speak to Cortana, but Microsoft is not interested in general availability outside a few major markets (US, UK, France, Spain, Germany). So I'll continue speaking to Siri instead. She has been speaking Swedish for years.

  8. webguynj

    Would be better if iOS actually recognized that Cortana is better than Siri

  9. nbplopes

    This Cortana centric way to talk with AI does not work well. This is not just the fault of Cortana, but Siri, Alexa and Google Voice have this problem.


    For instance:


    "Hey Cortana, ask Fitbit how many calories do I have left to eat?"


    This is silly. Much ways better would be:


    "Hey Fitbit, how many calories do I have left to eat?"


    But this would require a change in paradigm on how companies are approaching AI/UI as a platform. I was hoping when MS jumped into the bot bandwagon would also follow suit with Cortana.


    Instead of adding skills, apps would add personalities paired with the Azure AI platform. Each personality (Fitbit, Office, Amazon, Spotify, Pizzahut .... would have their own sets of skills.


    Yes, Cortana would still be there too for phone calls, reminders, general stuff and so on.


    I think this would trigger far more interest in adding skills by organizations .... Giving an impression


    I really was hoping MS would approach Agents in a different way and as a platform builder would get it better than anyone else by doing the above.


    Cheers.


    PS: Why does it mater "Hey Cortana" when the AI platform is running on Azure ($$$)?. It should not matter to MS IMHO and it could be a break through in interest. Let people say "Hey Fitbit", "Hey Spotify", "Hey Office", "Hey Groove" ...


    Shift the paradigm ... its tine.

  10. eq07

    I'm still very bitter about the cancellation of the Microsoft Band. It was LIGHT YEARS better than the best Fitbit currently on the market. Stereotypical of Microsoft to create incredible products with no marketing efforts, and then completely cancel the products--due to no effective marketing efforts. Argh!

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