03 January 2018
Microsoft has announced today a new skill for Cortana to make it even better: Fitbit skill. You are right, this allows Cortana to seamlessly work with Fitbit fitness trackers to keep your personal health and habits data up to date so that when you say, "Cortana ask Fitbit to log I had an omelet for breakfast," it adds those calories to your daily log and tells you to burn those extra calories.
Back in May at Build 2017 - Microsoft's annual developers' conference - the company announced a public preview of the Cortana Skills Kit. The SDK allows the developer to create the third-party skills by "creating a bot and publishing it to the new Cortana channel of the Bot Framework." The new Fitbit skill joins a number of skills that are already available on the platform.
Microsoft's Gurpreet Singh Pal explains:
Once you have connected your Fitbit account to Cortana, simply ask Cortana to get the information you need to stay inspired without having to pull up the Fitbit app or website. Cortana understands natural language and makes it very easy to update Fitbit about your beverage and food intake without having to manually log the information.
Thus, if you say, "Hey Cortana tell Fitbit to log I had 12 ounces of water," everything's as expected will be done without the need to input anything manually. Moreover, all of the information logged will be available across all of your devices provided that you have the Fitbit app and account running on them. The information will be accessible online, via the Fitbit app, or by asking Cortana.
You can get a quick look about Cortana meeting Fitbit in the following video.
Fitbit seems to be the right choice to expand Cortana's reach as it boasts around 50 million registered users all over the world. Cortana itself is available on hundreds of millions of devices and will now reach more users than ever.
This new skill for Fitbit will be available across all devices and platforms, starting with Windows 10, Android and iOS and soon on Harman Kardon Invoke speaker which we saw a couple of months ago.
Microsoft previously had its own fitness tracker called Microsoft Band, which was discontinued in October last year, without any news if the company will revive its wearable or not.