Ahead of the Pixel Watch 2’s expected launch in October, 9to5Google has learned that Google’s second smartwatch will feature a thermometer and bring improvements to the wearable versions of Fitbit and Personal Safety.
In a way, last year’s Google Pixel Watch marked the start of a new product line for Fitbit, one that lets health features take a back seat to the smarts and helpfulness of Google in the foreground. Meanwhile, the Sense series has remained Fitbit’s flagship line, offering the group’s most advanced set of sensors for measuring your health and well-being.
According to our sources, the Pixel Watch 2 will benefit from new features that were first discovered on the Fitbit Sense 2. As shown in a recent official teaser of the Pixel Watch 2, Google’s next smartwatch is expected to upgrade the sensors included.
The text below reveals the presence of an Electrodermal Activity (EDA) sensor, which we previously reported would be used for stress management and tracking. Our sources have reconfirmed that the Pixel Watch 2 will include features to help wearers manage stress.
Another feature of the Pixel Watch 2 carried over from the Fitbit Sense 2 is the addition of a skin temperature sensor, confirming our previous reports. We hear that owners might be able to check their skin temperature on demand, while past readings will be accessible in the Fitbit mobile app.
This goes even beyond the Sense 2, which currently only tracks your temperature variation at night as part of a broader picture of your health.
Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Sense 2 use a dedicated sensor to estimate the change in your skin temperature each night. The Fitbit Charge 4, Fitbit Charge 5, Fitbit Inspire 2, Fitbit Inspire 3, Fitbit Luxe and Fitbit Versa series measure the nighttime variation in your skin temperature using existing sensors.
One potential use for skin temperature sensing is to help track menstrual cycles, as seen on the Galaxy Watch 5/6, but our sources could not confirm whether the Pixel Watch 2 would match this capability.
Google appears to be making a broader push when it comes to body temperature readings, as it has been repeatedly reported that the Pixel 8 Pro will include a thermometer. It’s not yet clear how these two temperature sensors will interact or if they are even intended for similar purposes.
Additionally, our sources tell us that Fitbit’s exercise UI is getting an overhaul alongside the Pixel Watch 2. While the current design shows your current stats, like heart rate and distance , in a simple, no-frills layout, the redesign will be more consistent with Google’s smartwatch style.
We hear that the new exercise design especially makes your current heart rate more engaging, encouraging you to hit the desired zone. Meanwhile, the other elements have been sized to be more visible, similar to Google Fit’s current Wear OS design.
On the Pixel Watch today, Google’s Personal Safety app can detect when you’ve had a hard fall and call for help if necessary. There is also an emergency SOS function, accessed by quickly pressing the crown five times. With the launch of the Pixel Watch 2, we’re hearing that personal security is set to get a significant upgrade with three new features.
First, the Pixel Watch 2 will work in tandem with the car crash detection feature available on Pixel phones. When an accident is detected by your phone, your key medical information will be displayed on your watch so that rescuers can easily find it.
Meanwhile, the portable version of Personal Safety will also get full support for Emergency Share, which allows you to share your location with trusted emergency contacts. It’s important to note that Emergency Sharing will work even without your phone if your Pixel Watch 2 is equipped with LTE and has an active data plan.
Likewise, we hear you’ll be able to use the Pixel Watch 2 to schedule a security check, matching the Pixel phone’s functionality. On today’s phones, once the set countdown expires, personal security attempts to check that you are okay and if you do not respond, your emergency contacts will be notified of your location. As you might expect, using Safety Check on your watch also requires LTE and a data plan.
In the early days of Wear OS, Google offered a simple Google Translate app that allowed quick translations right from your wrist. However, the company eventually abandoned the app and it became completely unavailable for modern watches.
Our sources tell us that Google is preparing to reintroduce translation features for Wear OS as part of the Pixel Watch 2 launch, but this likely won’t take the form of a dedicated Google Translate app. Instead, we’re hearing that Google Assistant’s interpreter mode will handle translations like it does on phones, tablets, and Nest hardware.
Oddly enough, in our testing, Interpreter Mode appears to already be active on the first-generation Pixel Watch, although no Google support documentation currently mentions smartwatch support. As expected, it seamlessly translates conversations to and from your default language and a second language of your choice, playing the translations out loud.
These new features, coupled with a significant internal hardware upgrade, indicate that the Pixel Watch 2 is a huge improvement over last year’s watch. One commonality among many of these features is their ability to allow the Pixel Watch 2 to operate independently so you can leave your phone behind more often. We’ll be intrigued to see how far Google pushes this narrative when it fully reveals the Pixel Watch 2 on October 4.
Abner Li and Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.
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