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Sports Applications Technology

New Up App from Jawbone Works to Keep You on Top

November 04, 2011

(SPORTS TECHNOLOGY)

There are smart phone apps to measure your heartbeat (and answer your phone) while jogging and gyroscopes to enhance strength in the wrists and arms. Now Jawbone is entering the field with a wristband and app for iPhone (News - Alert) that will track your diet, exercise and sleep habits with your barely noticing it.

According to Chris Taylor at mashable.com, Jawbone's new app goes on sale this Sunday November 6th for $99 at all Apple, AT&T, Target (News - Alert) and Best Buy stores. It syncs with Jawbone's Up app for iPhone (and Androids, soon) via an audio jack, which also charges it through a USB connector about every two weeks, Taylor writes.

Taylor says the wristband tracks sleep and exercise by looking “for micro-movements at bedtime,” and can even tell when you fall asleep, waking users with gentle vibrations in the morning instead of music or noise, without disturbing any slumberers nearby. Unlike other products, it can tell whether users are in light or deep sleep, and will wake them “within a certain window of time, when your sleep is at its lightest,” according to Taylor.

The Up, Taylor writes, which Jawbone's CEO first talked about it at the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference, a small nonprofit dedicated to “ideas worth spreading,” will also track a user’s movements throughout the day, recording not just workouts but all the little moments of exercise users might not even know they’re getting.

Taylor reports in his story that one Up product team member told him he “was surprised to note a half-hour of vigorous walking had been logged during his work day -- when he was pacing back and forth during a conference call.”

Something even more ingenious? The Up app works on diet by encouraging users to track their eating habits through taking photos of food and asking how they feel a couple of hours after eating (those brownies? Forget it!). The Up app keeps track of three of the body’s most important needs, exercise, sleep patterns and diet, Taylor writes in his story.

Think it can’t get better? Taylor writes that “Jawbone's real intention is you’ll form social groups around the Up.”  He notes that the app is set up around the idea of nudging and encouraging users’ friends and families in goals and mini-challenges. “Surprisingly,” however, Taylor concludes, “The company has not integrated the app with Facebook and Twitter (News - Alert) just yet, but hopes you'll do all your socializing within the app, even if that means meeting strangers within the challenge sections.”


Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM (News - Alert) in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves