Jawbone Unveils Its Next Activity Tracker, the Up3


With pressure mounting from Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft who have all recently unveiled fitness-oriented smartwatches, the vendors within the activity tracker market are fighting to differentiate themselves and forestall the inevitable day when smartwatch companies absorb the smaller fitness tracker market. Last week, Fitbit unveiled three new activity trackers, all with far more fitness tracking features than the currently available smartwatches. Its most expensive new model goes a step further, supporting text messaging and displaying caller ID, email, and smartphone app notifications. Earlier in the month, Basis unveiled its own next generation tracker. The new Basis model ups the ante on fitness tracking, combining heart rate monitoring, activity monitoring, and perspiration monitoring to provide an exhaustive analysis of daily activity and exertion, but Basis also adds several smartwatch features to its features list, including text, email, and app notifications.

Now, like its peers, Jawbone has responded to the changes in its market. The company today unveiled its newest activity tracker, the Jawbone Up3. Rather than try to mimic the features of the first generation of smartwatches to hit the market, Jawbone is focusing on building the smallest, most sophisticated activity tracker that it can. Jawbone CEO explains the logic, “Smartwatches, which everyone and their mother is talking about, are fundamentally an extension of your phone. There is no way the battery will keep up if you don’t want to have a big monstrosity on your wrist,” he adds, “It’s frankly not mass market yet. We don’t know if that’s going to happen… Do I really want a beeper on my wrist?”

The new Jawbone Up3 boasts a seven day battery life, rather than the one to two day average endured by smartwatch owners. The new band is smaller than its predecessors, but adds a few new sensors. A bio-impedance sensor will monitor heart rate, respiration, and galvanic skin response. Skin temperature and ambient temperature are also captured. Sleep patterns are also monitored and broken down into REM, light, and deep sleep. An accelerometer captures activity throughout the day. All of this information is wirelessly passed to a smartphone app, where the data is analyzed by a digital fitness coach that generates recommendations that might improve sleep and increase activity.

The new tracker launched in tandem with a smaller clip on tracker called the Jawbone Up Move. This tracker only carries an accelerometer, but it can still wirelessly sync with the same Jawbone Up app, and runs for six months before it needs a new battery. Jawbone did not commit to a release date, but promised that both devices would be ready to ship by the holidays.

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