Wearable technology is more than displaying information: Jawbone

Smallest and most affordable addition added to company’s activity tracker line-up.

Jawbone has found it is not enough for wearable technology to just display information on a screen.

International partner and product development head, Jorgen Nordin, said early adopters were content to look at a screen and see data populated on it.

“They can see the amount of sleep and steps they have done, and they think that’s great and follow it over time,” he said.

However, Nordin said people are now asking for more and want to know what all of the information means.

“If you’re just seeing these numbers and they don’t mean anything to you, you kind of get off the fitness bandwagon for a while and get tired of the whole system,” he said.

Jawbone kept this in mind when it developed its latest wearable, Up Move, an affordable activity tracker that only uses a hidden LED screen to display step progress, sleep amount, and time.

“A large part of our differentiation from competitors is providing an extra level of insight and understanding, helping people to change behaviours,” said Nordin.

Right category placement

Much like smartphones and tablets, wearables are currently generating a lot of discussion and interest in the market.

Nordin admits that anything technical a person wears can get classified as a wearable, spanning from Google Glass to smartwatches to fitness products.

Read more: Best fitness gadgets for walking, running and cycling

Jawbone sees the market divided into three different segments, with one being fitness trackers people wear for specific activities.

“It will be a big device with a pretty screen, but with a high drainage on battery and it usually does not measure sleep,” said Nordin.

“Even if it did, you would not wear it to bed anyway because it is too big.”

Another category is smart watches, which Nordin said are an extension of the phone screen.

Read more: Jawbone: Phablets are awkward, use our Era earpiece instead

“They typically pushing notifications, but are bulkier devices with issues of battery consumption,” he said.

Small and efficient

The third segment, which Nordin sees Jawbone belonging to, is activity trackers.

“In this category, the products are small enough to be worn 24/7 and have a battery life of at least a week,” he said.

“They also feature a design that is at a level where someone would wear it anywhere.”

Nordin said there’s room for all types of devices, and selection is dependant on what a user wants to do.

Jawbone’s Up Move, which uses a replaceable battery that lasts up to six months, is available now (December 8 at Apple stores) for $69.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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