Last year, Jawbone showed us a fitness product that could tell how you were doing while you were sleeping, tracking heart rate and REM cycles, and not just light or deep sleep. While that gadget found itself delayed, it’s almost ready, and Jawbone has something else to show off.
One of the leaders in health technology and lifestyle accessories hit a bit of a snag last year.
Back in November, the company showed us what it was working on, with a hot little fitness band that didn’t just track your steps and let you play against your friends, and didn’t just work out how you were sleeping by tracking light and deep sleep, but found out ways to do more.
By throwing in a temperature sensor, it could find more information about us, as it could with heart rate tracking and pieces to pick up on your skin response. In fact, Jawbone isn’t entirely sure what all of the detail it could track about us could mean, but said it would open up the device with more features as time went on, expecting to deliver the product by the end of 2015.
Unfortunately, the end of 2015 came and went without that product, the Up 3.
Jawbone’s Up Move came out, true, and provided wirelessly syncing fitness technology to the masses for a sub-$100 price point, but it wasn’t the high-end device everyone had been asking, and GadgetGuy readers had been asking us about.
This week, we found out why that was, as Jawbone’s Jorgen Nordin, the company’s Head of International Partner and Product Development, informed us what the problem was: water-proofing.
“We were ramping up production,” he said to GadgetGuy this week, “and in testing of the device we found samples of the product that did not adhere to the water specification testing that we set up. That was a bit of a problem, and at that point you need to make decisions on the data that you have.”
Since then, Jawbone has redesigned seals and other aspects of the product to “adhere to the very stringent demands we have of quality”, with Nordin telling us that the rebuilt Up 3 is splash proof and that “you can use it in the shower” but that you shouldn’t swim or dive with it.
So the good news is that the problem is now solved, and that Australians will be able to get their mitts on and wrists through the Up 3 later this year when production is ramped up to the point where they can get the gadget to shelves as quickly as possible, but until then, there might even be a version to tempt your hand— err, wrist.
It’s called the Up 2, and it takes what we’ve seen and liked about devices like the Up 24 in the past — step tracking, sleep tracking, social connections and competitive exercising — and applies them to the same form-factor and design as the Up 3.
“We know that there’s room in the middle,” said Nordin, who told us that the Up 2 is the “successor of Up 24”, which arrived in Australia mid-2014.
This new version is thinner than previous Up models, which were thick by comparison almost like a heavy but semi-flexible bracelet.
In comparison, the Up 2 is thin and flexible, barely noticeable rubber with the gadget in the middle, and is now a one-size-fits-all design that can work on wrists of all sizes, compared to the requirement for separate small, medium, and large variants in the past.
In fact, the improvements to the technology on this one have allowed Jawbone to make it 45 percent smaller than the Up 24, which should impress people who tire of the size of the original.
“We are excited to launch Up 2 globally as the stylish successor to Up 24, taking up less space on the wrist while still delivering the same advanced features that our users love,” said Travis Bogard, Jawbone’s Vice President of Product Management and Strategy.
“At an affordable price, we believe it is a best-in-class wearable appealing to the largest sector of the market.”
And that price is $149, which put its a little above its Jawbone Up Move brother, and yet below the expect RRP of the Up 3, which will arrive later this year for $249.
Two colours can be found in this one model, with grey or black provided from day one, and while the Up 2 looks like an Up 3, it’s more like an Up 24 than anything else, offering a three-axis accelerometer, seven-day rechargeable battery, and three LEDs on a lightly built capacitive touch screen allowing you to tap it to get it working.
As for availability, you’ll find Jawbone’s Up 2 in stores shortly for $149, and a review online soon from us, too. And if you’re after that Up 3, we’re told that shouldn’t be too much longer, with a few more months of waiting only.