In one of the more unusual announcements this week, Fitbit has announced that it will join forces with Jawbone in order to avoid lawsuits, with the new company Jawfit unveiling the first mouth wearable.
It’s been a particularly trying time for device makers in the wearable market of late. While we’ve found wearables tend to stop working far earlier than expected, two of the larger wearable makers have been facing off in court as Jawbone and Fitbit came to litigation fisticuffs over an employee that went from one company to the other possibly with company secrets, a big no no.
This week, however, we’re hearing that in an attempt to avoid further dramas, the two companies will be teaming up, merging to be “Jawfit” and even announcing a product in line with the new name.
Designed from a mouth guard, Jawfit’s “Chew” is the first of its kind with a mouth-based wearable, as the company brings the expertise of both companies to the fore with a new style of fitness tracker.
“Chew is designed to work with your current wearable, and will add to the knowledge of how you fare by tracking how many chews you normally take, factoring that into a picture of your overall health,” said a company spokesperson.
We’re told the Chew mouth guard borrows the accelerometer sensor technology from conventional trackers, storing the sensor through a very thin wire tracked along the inside of the mouth guard, which in turn talks to a small Bluetooth transmitter at the back near where the molars sit.
This information is sent to either the Jawbone or Fitbit app — compatibility will be extended to both, we’re told — and reported based on how much you eat that day.
“Chewing isn’t normally measured as part of your daily health, but for many of us, our regular mastication is just as important as when we’re lifting weights or going for a run,” said a representative for Jawfit. “That’s why Chew is vitally important, and it’s the first step in what we see as a full line of mouth-related technology.”
When asked what that “a full line of mouth-related technology” meant, Jawfit’s representatives wouldn’t say, but a researcher with the company did confirm to GadgetGuy that there were plans to track water intake through the technology, as well as possibly monitor airway paths for customers suffering from sleep ailments such as apnea.
As for availability, that’s where things get a little complicated because Jawfit’s Chew needs the approval of your dentist for it to be ordered. Much like the Invisalign clear braces, Jawfit’s Chew has to be measured to a mouth in order for Jawfit to make the mould work.
We’re not quite sure what the cost is of this procedure is and suspect it will be lower than the on-going cost for transparent braces, but it is something you’ll need to see a dentist for, with the Chew costing a further $399USD on top of this.
Whether it’s worth it or not, that we couldn’t say, but suspect Jawfit’s Chew could be a game changer if only because you’ll finally be able to tell the world how much talking you do or excess chewing adds to your overall health. Go you.
No, Fitbit and Jawbone are not merging, despite the legal drama taking place overseas, and if the company is working on a mouth-based wearable, it’s pure luck that we’ve guessed it. But hey, now that we’ve said it, maybe it’ll come true? 🙂