Amazon is updating Echo Buds with new fitness features. These new features will enable Amazon’s truly wireless (TWS) earbuds to track fitness activities including running, walking, and calories burned. Users will just need to ask the built-in Alexa to begin fitness tracking on the Echo Buds. Prior to the latest update, the earbuds offered a hands-free experience to listen to music, play Audible audiobooks, make voice calls, and get voice-guided directions. The Echo Buds also support access to Siri and Google Assistant alongside the Alexa integration.
As explained on a support page, the Echo Buds can track workouts such as calories burned, workout distance, step count, average pace, and overall time spent during a workout. You can start workout tracking using the Alexa app or by simply saying, “Alexa, start a workout”. Once done, you can end tracking by saying, “End my workout”.
The Echo Buds rely on built-in accelerometers for tracking steps, and this is used in combination with personal stats entered into a “workout profile” in the Alexa app for other data. Amazon says using your height and weight, in combination with the steps tracked by the accelerometer, the Echo Buds can calculate the distance of your runs and walks and the number of calories burned. The duration of your workout is calculated using timestamps, and your overall pace is calculated by the duration and distance. The Verge reports that the new update should start rolling out to users over the next few days.
Upon its arrival, the update will enable the Echo Buds to let you start a workout by saying, “Alexa, start my run” or “Alexa, start my walk”. You will also be able to look at your progress by asking, “Alexa, how far have I run?” or “Alexa, what’s my pace?”
Amazon didn’t offer fitness tracking on the Echo Buds at launch. However, the fitness features were rumored ahead of its debut. In August, Amazon launched its Halo fitness band that uses sensors along with artificial intelligence (AI) to track physical and mental health. The band debuted for early access to select customers at a price tag of $65.
The arrival of the new fitness features to the Echo Buds makes them a strong competitor against the likes of Apple’s AirPods and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live that both don’t support tracking of workouts natively. Having said that, the Echo Buds are still not available in many markets.