When Amazon unveiled the Echo Buds they came in at a reasonable £119.99 which matches Apple’s AirPods with Wireless charging case. However, with the Echo Buds you also get Immersive sound and Bose Active Noise Reduction Technology and sealed in-ear design limits background noise. Apple has online just introduced active noise cancellation with their AirPods Pro which are priced at £249. The Echo Buds come with get up to 5 hrs’ music playback per charge, up to 2 hrs with a quick 15-minute charge and up to 20 hrs with the charging case.
Amazon include the Alexa assistant as part of their stick Alexa in everything project, but also includes access to Siri or Google Assistant from a supported device – just press and hold your earbud. Now they are set to take the fight to a whole new level after CNBC reported today that a “Fitness” section appeared in the Alexa app on iOS when they connected Echo Buds to their iPhone.
code-named “Puget” the feature was discovered on a test unit of Echo Buds paired with Amazon’s Alexa app and appears to be in a testing phase.
“Inside the Alexa app, under where you would normally manage the equalizer settings for the Echo Buds, was a whole new “Fitness” section. [This is] something I didn’t see when I first reviewed the Echo Buds a couple of weeks ago. The section included the option to track a workout, a fitness profile that included only a space for my height, and a Workouts heading.”
Under the Workouts heading, it suggested I could start tracking a workout by speaking “Alexa, start a workout.”
I said this and it said “OK, starting your workout.” I walked around the office with the Echo Buds in my ears, and it appeared to have tracked my movement, telling me, “You’ve worked out for 1 minute and 37 seconds. You’ve logged 0.04 miles with an average pace of 44 minutes and 13 seconds per mile. You took 114 steps.”
The CNBC reporter notes that there was no heart rate monitoring function in this test version of the app, so it appears that the functionality is limited to step tracking at this time. Whilst there’s no guarantee that Amazon will ever ship the feature, if they do decide to activate this at a later date it will certainly add an extra challenge for Apple to justify their extra £50 for the Pro model. When asked about the fitness discover an Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the discovery.
Steve is a British technology Writer, Editor and Owner of Geeks Corner.