The Google Pixel Watch has ultimately rolled out a probably lifestyles-saving ‘fall detection’ mode it really is desirable news for owners of the smartwatch, but less so for Fitbit customers.
The feature, that’s rolling out from nowadays (February 28), makes use of a combination of motion sensors and devices getting to know to tell whilst you’ve taken a tough fall. If you don’t move or reply within a sure time frame, your Google Pixel Watch will then call the emergency services.
Before that happens, you will get a chance to persuade it away from creating a call. If the Pixel Watch detects that you haven’t been transferring for approximately 30 seconds, Google says it’ll vibrate, sound an alarm and display an on-display screen notification so that it will tap. If you do not need assistance, you may simply tap ‘I’m OK’ – or if you’re at the bottom of a ravine, you may tap ‘I fell and want help’ to get linked to emergency services.
Fall detection isn’t always a brand new idea, with a maximum of first-class smartwatches already boasting the feature. If you personally have an Apple Watch SE or Apple Watch Series 4 (or later), you can turn the feature on or off for your iPhone’s Watch app, and might even determine to handiest have fall detection turned on when you’re working out.
Most recent Galaxy Watch fashions, including the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, also have a ‘detect falls’ feature, that’s an optionally available mode in the Galaxy Wearable app on Android phones. The Pixel Watch, then, may be very a whole lot gambling capture-up on this front, with Google has promised that the function was coming lower back in October.
But it is also some other slight slap within the face for the Google-owned Fitbit and proprietors of smartwatches just like the Fitbit Sense 2, who’ve lately visible Community functions like Fitbit Challenges and Groups eliminated from their fitness trackers. In fact, we’ve got even gone as a long way as to argue that Fitbit, as we realize it’s miles already lifeless, thanks to Google’s antics – and seeing capabilities like fall detection brought to the Pixel Watch handiest, rubs salt into the wound for Fitbit lovers.
Analysis: a life-saver with large asterisks
Fall detection has now become a well-known characteristic of smartwatches, but the extraordinary implementations all work barely in a different way – and their virtual protection internet has a few doubtlessly big holes in it.
Google says the Pixel Watch’s fall detection is “based upon network connectivity and different elements”. So if you’re planning an experience in the wilderness, you could want to also percent a satellite-linked sidekick like Motorola’s new Defy Satellite Link.
Google is also keen to factor out that “fall detection might not detect all falls” and that “your watch may not be dependable for emergency communications”. In other phrases, it’s very tons an advantage greater for a few additional peace of mind, in place of a superhero in a smartwatch shape.
Still, that is alas more than Fitbit owners are possible to get, as even the excellent Fitbits lack fall detection or emergency SOS features. With Google actively putting off functions like offline tune access and community extras like Challenges, let alone failing to feature new features, it appears that evidently, Fitbit fanatics will need to move to the Pixel Watch to get admission to the latest smartwatch tricks, or take the plunge to one of the first-class Garmin watches alternatively.