While Facebook and Apple haven’t been on the best terms as of late, the social media giant is reportedly considering letting Oculus users sync up their workout data to Apple Health, according to Bloomberg.
The news comes via snippets of code found in the Oculus iPhone app. The features sound fairly basic—users would be able to integrate data like calories burned to the Health app. Oculus users would also be able to view workout data saved to the Health app on an Oculus headset. All in all, it sounds like your typical Health app integration.
The rumor also slots in nicely with several rumors trickling out of Facebook in recent months. Last month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he envisioned “Peloton-like fitness subscriptions” for virtual reality in the future. The company is also purportedly working on a smartwatch, which it plans to launch in 2022. While concrete details are scant, the smartwatch is thought to be a way for Facebook to connect to various fitness platforms like Strava and Peloton without having to go through Google. Meanwhile, late in 2020, Facebook announced it was adding Oculus Move—a type of fitness tracking software—to its Oculus Quest devices.
At-home fitness had a moment in 2020. Pandemic lockdowns led to months of shuttered gyms and people cooped up in their homes, and fitness games benefitted. Games like Nintendo Ring Switch Adventure were in short supply at the beginning of 2020, while Oculus titles like Beat Saber and Supernatural were also highlighted as key examples of the category. The fitness gaming market is estimated to grow roughly 33% in the next few years, hitting $59 billion by 2027.
Integrating with the Health app would be an easy way for Facebook to lure iPhone users onto its platform. The Health app is one of the easiest ways to aggregate your health and workout data in one place—and the vast majority of iOS fitness apps allow users to either import or export their data to the platform. It would also potentially open the door to further integration with the Apple Watch, as you can now record Fitness Gaming workouts on the device and workouts recorded natively on the wrist also sync up through the Health and Fitness apps.
That said, hidden code found in apps isn’t always a guarantee that a feature will come to pass. (Though sometimes it is.) It does, however, indicate it’s a feature Facebook is at least internally exploring. In any case, it’d appear that Facebook is eager to get in on increased interest in both health and fitness—and the valuable data it generates. Whether or not that’s a good thing, well, this is Facebook we’re talking about.