This is what Google's fitness tracker plans looked like before the Fitbit acquisition

Google fitness tracker patent
Google fitness tracker patent (Image credit: Google)

Before Google tried to buy Fitbit, the tech giant was working on its own line of fitness-tracking smart bands, and while these products will likely never come to light now (as they'd pose competition to Fitbit), we've seen a glimpse at what could have been.

As spotted by PatentlyApple, in early December Google was granted several patents it filed in April 2019, months before it moved to acquire Fitbit. The patents are for a fitness tracking band, and images are included.

The most notable thing about the depicted fitness tracker is that it has no screen, similar to the Fitbit Flex or Amazon Halo, the latter of which was revealed after this patent was filed.

This likely means the fitness tracker was designed to be used with heavy integration with an app - the band would track your activity and health but you'd need to use your phone to set up workouts and track your stats.

A build like this would likely be lightweight and thin, as the only real 'tech' element is the sensor which would be pressed against the wrist. Some fitness tracker manufacturers favor minimal builds like this as it makes it easier for the user to forget about when being worn.

There's not much we can tell about the Google fitness tracker features from this - the patent mainly explores the design - but if we were to speculate, we'd say the band would have worked with the Google Fit range of fitness features, which are currently available on Wear OS smartwatches.

It's highly unlikely we'll ever see this fitness tracker in the flesh now, as Google's wearable strategy now likely revolves around its pending Fitbit acquisition. Fitbit hasn't put out a barebones tracker like the Flex in a long time though, so here's to hoping.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.