Fitbit announced on Wednesday that its Fitbit Versa 2 will feature a microphone which will enable the first-ever Amazon Alexa smartwatch experience, the company said in a press release. It will also contain a Spotify app that will allow users to listen to music and podcasts.
With Fitbit's Versa 2, Alexa will respond to voice commands with silent on-screen text messages. The feature will also help users with tasks such as setting alarms, checking the local weather, finding the nearest gym and controlling smart devices, per the release.
Versa 2 comes with the phone-free payment feature Fitbit Pay on all models.
For about $200, active consumers can have yet another product that will make controlling smart devices, completing payments and waking up a lot easier. This time, it'll be tied to the shopper's wrist.
As more retailers look for ways to engage consumers via wearable technology, experts say cybersecurity must remain a concern, especially as companies collect biometric data and implement payments tools.
Close followers of the wearable technology sector anticipate that the market will grow over the next few years. Researcher Technavio predicts that the wearable technology market will increase by 15% each year until 2023, and the International Data Corporation anticipates that the demand for wearable technology that connects to virtual assistants will grow more than 15% to 198.5 million units in 2019. The IDC's research also points to biometric sensors and virtual assistants, including Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to drive growth in the market.
Integrating Amazon Alexa into its new products also positions Fitbit better against smart watch rival Apple. The tech company in March 2018 launched an update that allows users to control Apple HomePods with their Apple Watch devices.
"Building on the success of our original best-selling Versa smartwatch, we believe the added value and innovation in Versa 2 with new features like Alexa, a Spotify app and advanced in-app and on-device sleep features, will bring more users into the smartwatch category, allowing them to unlock the benefits of better health," Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park said in a statement.