Google is apparently working on a health-related wristband, but don’t expect to be able to buy it anytime soon — or ever.
Bloomberg is carrying a story about a wristband from Google X — the research division of Google — that will be able to measure pulse rate, heart rhythm, skin temperature, and local environment. It won’t be sold to people, but rather distributed to doctors and researchers to give to patients and study participants.
Google’s interest in life sciences is hardly new, and this project feels like low-hanging fruit for a division of Google that’s devoted to long-term “moonshots.” Remember: Google X is a very different crowd than the one that showed sensor-laden fabric a couple of weeks ago. The X division works mostly in secret, but among the project that have become public are Google Glass, the self-driving car, tear-monitoring contact lens, and Project Loon (balloon-based networks).
Google seems to acknowledge that this wristband will need to survive regulatory approval, as it’s expected to provide accurate and actionable results. And targeting doctors and researchers seems to imply that it wouldn’t be priced like a consumer device, anyway.
One more thing: the story hit Bloomberg — which is watched closely by financial pros — at 9:30am, when the stock market opens. Fitbit closed at $39.98 yesterday, and at 9:30 this morning started trading down about $2.50, where it’s stayed all day.