Right now there may be loads of different fitness apps and gadgets on the market, but one of the first pioneers in the whole health tracking tech space was Jawbone’s Up bracelet, a wearable gadget that hugged your wrist all day long with a lot of promising features designed to help you track your activity levels and a lot LOT more. Sounds great, right? Well it was until it failed in rather epic proportions, in terms of hardware, software AND usability.
But you know what? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and all that (although many little Ups did actually die/snap, so maybe that saying doesn’t quite ring true…) and the team still had some pretty innovative ideas, so the brand hasn’t admitted defeat, it’s just re-launched a new version of the Up and this time it hopes to address all of the issues from last time and really make waves amongst all of the Fitbit Ones and Nike+ Fuelbands that we have attached to our bodies somewhere or other.
The new band, which has been released in the US this week for $129, has had a slew of improvements including a new design and outer mould, more water resistance and a better accompanying iOS application. Engadget reports that, in order to address all of the gadget’s previous problems, it’s also been put through a new rigorous form of testing, ensuring it’ll really stand up to claims this time and not bend, snap or become ruined by a bit of a water (yep, that happened last time unfortunately).
However, it’s not just the external hardware that’s had a makeover, the dedicated iOS app (no Android version yet unfortunately, but it’s apparently on the way, apparently) has had a new lick of paint too, which sees a better looking and more user-friendly interface and added social sharing features, as well as a food calorie index and a few more extras, like barcode scanning so you don’t have to muck around adding meals manually.
There are still one or two things we think may cause problems, for instance, in order to sync data you have to hook the bracelet up by the 3.5mm jack, which makes it usable by a wide range of people but with Fitbit’s gadgets now syncing wirelessly via Bluetooth it’ll certainly seem a bit outdated over the next year if it doesn’t step up to the game. After all these kinds of gadgets are all about being as easy to wear and use as possible and wireless syncing just takes all of the hassle away from the whole process.
However, Jawbone’s latest foray into the health and fitness tracking market is certainly interesting and no one can deny the product will have been put through some of the most rigorous testing, like, EVER. The challenge now is whether other brands have already overtaken Jawbone in this space and whether the bad press from the last version of the gadget will mean it’s already doomed before people even get to try it. But we’re willing to forgive and forget and have high hopes for Jawbone’s latest product, even if the rest of the world is just waiting for it to fail again.
For more information or to find out where you can buy an Up bracelet in your country, visit the Jawbone website.