Jawbone announced yesterday the third iteration of its UP wristband that features an adjustable design and a number of new sensors that more effectively track sleep and physical activity. Up3 is the company’s first multi-sensor wearable and an important step forward from earlier Up models.
The cheapest of Jawbone’s new gear is the Jawbone UP Move. At $50, it’s a direct response to low-cost fitness trackers like the Misfit Flash, with a module that users can either clip onto their clothing or wear on their wrists with an optional $15 strap. However it’s the first Jawbone device whose LED indicators can tell the time and step progress.
On the high end of Jawbone’s lineup is the $180 Jawbone UP3, which seems like the star version of Jawbone’s existing fitness bands. Like its predecessors, it has no display, but adds new sensors that can measure resting heart rate and tell the difference between light, deep and REM sleep. Over time, it will also reportedly learn to recognize specific exercises, such as cross-training, tennis or swimming, so users no longer have to specify what they’re doing. The eventual goal is to track more nebulous signals like stress and fatigue.
All of this data will feed into Jawbone’s apps, which will continue to focus not just on displaying data but helping people make sense of it in useful ways.
Rival Fitbit has already unveiled three new activity and sleep-tracking products: Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Charge HR, and FitbitSurge. As well as tracking daily activity, Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR display caller ID on your wrist. Both track steps, distance travelled, calories burned and floors climbed, and offer exercise tracking. There’s automatic sleep detection, a vibrating alarm and Fitbit promises up to 7 days battery life, just like Jawbone.
However the most likely comparison will be made with the notorious Apple Watch. Both will track your heartbeat. Both will come in a variety of materials and textures. Both are worn on your wrist, etc. But for all that, Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman doesn’t seem anxious that the world’s most valuable company will soon be vying with his own for your forearm. As Rahman describes it, the Up3 is designed in every aspect to get you to make room for its multiple sensors on your wrist, no matter what else you’re wearing, including an Apple Watch.
“Your Swiss Army knife is not your best scissors,” Rahman told Wired during a recent meeting at Jawbone’s San Francisco headquarters. “We just think we’re solving a different problem and going after a different thing.”