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Jawbone Up aims to get you healthier

Jawbone ventures into fitness gadget territory with Up, a wristband that combines with an iPhone app to track your movement, sleep patterns, and eating habits to improve your overall health.

Jawbone Up wristband with the Up iPhone app
Jawbone Up wristband with the Up iPhone app

Jawbone, a company known mostly for Bluetooth audio accessories like the Jawbone Era and the Jambox, is venturing into the health and fitness industry with a new product called the Jawbone Up.

First revealed at TEDGlobal, it's essentially a tiny wristband that works in conjunction with the Jawbone Up iPhone app to track your movements, sleep patterns, and eating habits to help you make healthier lifestyle choices. Jawbone breaks that into three categories: Measure, Engage, and Act.

Similar to other movement-tracking fitness gadgets like the Fitbit, the Jawbone Up has a motion accelerator to sense movement. Jawbone calls this one the MotionX engine, and the wristband is designed to be worn all day long. The Up is durable and water-resistant, so you can wear it in the shower as well. Jawbone claims that the Up has up to 10 days of battery life.

Jawbone Up wristbands in multiple colors
Jawbone Up wristbands in multiple colors Jawbone

The Up iPhone app tracks your daily activity (pace, steps, calories); your sleep patterns; and even what you're eating (you take a picture of the food with the app) in a "ME screen" along with a "Lifeline" chart. After you've captured the photo of your meal, Up will notify you a few hours later to ask how the food has affected you.

As for the Engage portion of the equation, you can gather fellow Jawbone Up owners together in a team, to help or challenge each other to achieve fitness goals. The Up app will show you where you stand in comparison to your team members.

If you want an alternative to teams, you can set up personal health challenges as well, and in any category (eat, sleep, or move). Or if you're part of a team, you can set up team challenges. Jawbone has already worked with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, DailyFeats, GE Healthymagination, and 24 Hour Fitness to create a preset array of challenges for Up users.

Unlike other fitness gadgets, the Up wristband also has a tiny vibration alarm in it. It can subtly nudge you awake, for example, so that you wake up at the best possible moment in your sleep cycle. You can also have it nudge you after you've been inactive for some time.

Curiously, the wristband does not use Bluetooth (like Jawbone's other products) to communicate with the iPhone. Instead, you sync the two devices by removing the plug cap on the wristband and plugging the jack into the iPhone's headphone port. Launch the Up iPhone app, tap the sync button, and you're done. The Up wristband currently only works with iPhones.

The Up wristband will be available in small, medium, and large, and in seven colors: dark black, dark brown, dark red, bright white, bright silver, bright red, and bright blue. It'll be sold at Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, and Target retailers starting November 6 and at 24 Hour Fitness locations later this year. International customers can get theirs starting November 17. The Up iPhone app is free, but requires the wristband to use.