Whenever Google calls a meeting, I know I am in for many surprises. I am certain that I will leave that meeting better than I was.
And so, on Thursday Google called another meeting at the Bodyline Fitness Gym, located at 6, Bank Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. It was the Fit With Google event. The morning session just ended when I arrived.
Boldly displayed ahead of me is the name Google in bright hues of yellow, red, blue firmly tucked to the ground. On one side close to entrance is the registration desk. I walked up to the ladies behind the desk after changing into a workout attire. One of the ladies handed to me a wearable gadget by Sony and a Google Nexus phone. While I was still wondering what I would do with them.
The voice of Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google communications manager, Nigeria beckoned on us to come around the sitting area. I sunk into one of the white outdoor sofas as he explains why the meeting was called by Google.
“The search on Google Trend shows that gym, workout, fitness are the most searched words in 2015,” he says. “The search for Fitness was high in January 2015 and it fell by March. It was lowest in April. It goes up again in December. The search for the word Gym followed the same trend in 2014.”
According to him, this has been the trend in the past four years. It is for this reason Google decided to hold the Fit for Google event at a critical period when people make resolutions about their health needs, especially fitness.
“In Nigeria, the search for the three key words on Google Trend is slightly different,” he explains further. “Nigerians search more for the word, gym. The trend goes up every quarter in Nigeria. Nigerians are searching for gym more than fitness.”
And so, Google’s goal is to help people achieve their New Year resolution by using their mobile phones and the Google Apps to help them stay fit and healthy.
After Taiwo’s introduction, we moved to the fitness room on the first floor to learn more about the Android Wear device we were given. Abdul from Google was on hand to take us through how to sync our mobile phones with the Android Wear, a smart watch, without having to hold the mobile phones in our hands while exercising.
Abdul tells us there are many Apps on Google that can be used track one’s progress at achieving the fitness goals set daily. He says Android Wear has basic control that can be used to stay in touch with happenings on one’s mobile phone while exercising without going to check often on the phone screen for missed calls, emails or messages.
With just a tap on the Android Wear screen, one can swipe to the right, left to check for available apps on it. “You can find your phone with the watch instead of calling someone to help you call your phone whenever you misplaced it while at home or anywhere. The watch has a flash light, you can read your emails, read your WhatsApp messages, set an alarm or stopwatch, you can use it to navigate and also listen to music while exercising,” he explains.
In addition, he says the Fit App which is available on Google Play store can measure the amount of calories one loses after exercising using an accelerometer that allows the phone or smartwatch measure movements.
After the talk, we returned to the fitness room at the lower floor to put the smartwatches, phones and the Fit App to the test. After more than 30 minutes of workout, we checked on the App to see how many calories each of us had lost by imputing our weight and height. To our surprise, it promptly calculated the number of calories we lost after the workout session.
And of course, the person who lost the most calories was given a gift, a free spa session at the Bodyline Fitness Gym. The day didn’t end until we put Google Voice Search to test again with the list of questions Taiwo asked us to provide answers to. As always, Google Voice Search never disappoints, provided your accent is right!