Amazon’s Echo Buds are getting new fitness features that allow the true wireless earbuds to track your workouts. According to Amazon, the Echo Buds now have the ability to track walks, runs, and other workouts, all initiated with Alexa voice commands.
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 amount of calories burned. The duration of your workout is calculated using timestamps, and your overall pace is calculated by the duration and distance.
You can start a workout with “Alexa, start my run” and check on your progress with commands like “Alexa, how far have I run?” or “Alexa, what’s my pace?” Past workout data will be viewable in the Alexa app as well.
Fitness tracking was rumored to be part of Amazon’s plans for the Echo Buds but wasn’t offered at launch, so this new feature is welcome. It arrives after another health- and fitness-focused play from Amazon in the Amazon Halo fitness band. But unlike the Halo band, which can estimate your level of body fat using actual photos of your body, the Buds stick to the fitness basics. They’re also aggressively priced in comparison to other fitness tracking headphones — and this functionality is something that Apple’s AirPods don’t offer.
Amazon says the new update should start rolling out to owners over the next few days, just in time for holiday feasting and the guilt-associated exercise that follows. If you’re interested in the Echo Buds as a potential stocking stuffer, check out our review.