UP by Jawbone is Back: Will it Succeed This Time?

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A year ago Jawbone launched the UP bracelet that was supposed to help you “know yourself” and learn how to live a more healthy life. Great promise, interesting product, unfortunately abject failure. Pulled after a month Jawbone went back to the drawing board and today is releasing the UP 2.0. Looks great too, but will it stand up?

Here’s the idea: wear a waterproof bracelet all the time that tracks your activity and sleep automatically (wonder if it senses naps), plus lets you track what you eat and how you feel during the day. All this is pulled into insights that are supposed to help you live a more healthily life. Here are the features from the Jawbone press release we received this morning:

  • Sleep: UP employs a revolutionary sleep tracking system. Sophisticated motion-sensing technology tracks micro-movements of your wrist to deliver unprecedented detail including how long it took you to fall asleep, how much light vs. deep sleep you got, how long you were in bed and how many times you woke up during the night. By using the new Power Nap feature or setting the silent Smart Alarm, UP wakes you at the most optimal point in your sleep cycle so you wake up feeling refreshed and alert.
  • Move: UP gives you comprehensive information about how you move throughout the day, including active vs. idle time, intensity of movement, total steps, distance, and calories burned. UP also vibrates gently to remind you to get up and move when you’ve been inactive for a specified amount of time.
  • Eat: UP helps you understand more about your food choices. Simply take a photo of your food to create a visual journal, or go deeper by scanning a barcode or searching the database for more complete nutritional information.
  • Mood: UP lets you keep track of how you feel throughout the day so you can correlate how your sleep, movement and eating affect your mood.
  • Insights: UP analyzes your data to deliver highly personalized insights. It reveals connections between different elements of your life, shows how you compare to others, and educates with new information that’s tailored for you. The more you use UP, the more powerful the insights will become.

None of these features are new for the UP, this is what it was supposed to do the first go round…but didn’t. The hardware and software failed Jawbone and they were forced to refund people’s money and stop selling the device a year ago.

Let’s talk about how it is supposed to work now.

You charge it up (via USB, though one of the wireless charging solutions would be great addition for 3.0), download and connect the UP app for your iPhone, sync the bracelet up with your phone (via the headphone jack of all things), and then wear the bracelet.

You sync up the data periodically to let the app help you learn about your day and lifestyle (yeah I know I don’t get up and move enough, thank you). Here are the features that Jawbone highlights on the special UP page:

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And while you’re at it, watch the video Jawbone offers up to tell you how hard they have been working at making the UP better:

And this is the most interesting part here. The marketing for UP isn’t about what it does. People, I think, have bought into that, something that will wake me up when I’m rested and ready to wake up (not oversleeping, but when you’re at the right stage of sleep to wake up), remind you when you should get up and move around (sitting does kill, we know), and track what you eat to see where you could do better (I’ve learned that myself losing 20 pounds in the last few months, with more pounds to go). Jawbone has to convince us that a $130 techno bracelet is worth the money and not going to die in a couple weeks or a month like the first time.

Convinced? I think Jawbone is really going to need to seed review samples to people and rely on people who buy them right away to report back how the new design is working. Om Malik has been wearing one for less than a day and this is what his first thoughts are:

The trick is to constantly use the device, which feels more comfortable than the original UP, whose edges were too angular to wear comfortably.

I have had the device for less than a day and it is hard to form an opinion just yet. I am taking off for New York and taking it along with me and will see how it feels after a week of use. The app, while attractive, hasn’t been put through the paces just yet. Most importantly, it will be a few days before I can offer a reasonable, indepth assessment.

From: After being down, Jawbone’s UP gets back up again — Tech News and Analysis

The UP has a tough go of it to break into the mindshare of consumers. As Om Malik also points out in his post, Jawbone has the Nike FuelBand to contend with as well. Now, myself, looking at the FuelBand myself it doesn’t grab me. Although I should exercise more, I don’t regularly. My wife jogs, but my knees would rather I didn’t. FuelBand strikes me as for athletes, not everyone, UP seems like a product that anyone could get a lot out of. Even if it’s understanding the connections between sleep-activity-food and mood, is a great thing. Heck even just sleep, activity, and mood could help a lot of people live healthier lives.

That is, again, if the UP 2.0 lives up (hee hee) to its promises.

The UP 2.0 is available now in Apple Stores, AT&T, and Best Buy for $129.99. It comes in eight colors (Onyx, Mint Green, Light Grey, Blue, Navy Blue, Red, Orange, Hunter Green) and three sizes (Small, Medium, and Large)—there is a handy online sizing guide to get the right size for you—and the companion iOS app is out now with an Android version coming soon (they say).

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  • John

    Article Typo:

    ..not go ^(i) ng to die in a couple weeks

    • http://trishussey.com Tris Hussey

      Thank you…darn gremlins.

  • Johnathan

    Does the device tell time?
    It looks as though the device has no way of informing the user any information directly as it looks like a standard bracelet to me. If the device has no information (direct)outputting system to the user(such as a screen telling the user the time of day or a LED notification that informs of new notices), then my guess is that an external device, such as an iPhone, is constantly needed to obtain any information that the device gives?
    Hopefully not. I would at least enjoy being able to tell the time without looking at my phone which is able to do

    • Johnathan Again

      many of the things (when supplemented with apps) the bracelet does and more.

    • http://trishussey.com Tris Hussey

      It doesn’t light up, but it’s supposed to vibrate to wake you up and such.