Thursday, November 3, 2011

UP - Jawbone's new fitness bracelet (technology I can't afford, but would love to try)

Read an article at Businessweek, that started out with an amazing story of a start-up being turned around by a meeting with Steve Jobs where he hate hate hated their product.  He pointed out every shortcut they took and tore their ideas to shreds.  It didn't discourage them.  They attacked their weaknesses and developed the incredible Jawbone headset (that works somehow by using the bones in your head instead of speakers.  I've only really tried them out and set them up for others, but they always sounded much better than the cheap bluetooth headsets I wore in the car.).  Well, they've now come out with a fitness bracelet called "UP".  It sounds incredibly interesting.  As I've recently been reading the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss, (a book all about attempting to gain control of your fitness by first tracking it and then making small changes and then tracking those changes), the UP sounds like a perfect compliment to the kind of monitoring I've been trying to implement. 

 - It tracks your sleeping schedule and works as an alarm clock.  (I've been reading all about the various options for this and it seems like they're mainly alarm clocks that don't work and don't unite into a unified system.  I'm also interested in trying out polyphasic sleep and napping.  This seems like a great monitoring and reminding system for that alternative lifestyle.  I'd love it if they had pre-configured sleep schedules and could link it up with the bracelet to remind you to take a nap or wake from one.)

- It tracks your steps (Interesting, but I already do this with Runkeeper.  Bonuses would be wearing it all the time and getting more data)

- It links to an iphone program that can help you track your meals by taking pictures of them and presumably choosing the meal from a list to average the calories.  (I've done this a little through LoseIt! on the iphone, which doesn't take photos, but does track meals and I've taken photos myself as recommended in 4HB, but again to have them together in a unified system would be excellent.)

- It says you can wear it in the shower (but I don't think I will.  Not sure about that one.  Wouldn't want to break it.  I like long showers and hot water.)

- It has an alarm based system for inactivity (This sounds really interesting, especially for writers and other computer programmer type peoples who sit at their desks all day long.  A reminder to take a brief walk occasionally could be really helpful.  Especially if it tied into a notification update system, where your computer would thank you for walking and tell you how much you walked during your break, and would then graph and track the effectiveness of the brief walk reminder, eg: if there was a spike in the chart after each reminder or if there wasn't a spike)

The only thing it seems to lack is a weight monitor.  Presumably you could type it in and if the computer program asked you for the weight in the right way (similar to the amazing, which gives points for streaks and makes a game out of it), I guess I could track that in the unified system.  Maybe it works with the Withings Wifi scale (another fitness item I'd love to try, but can't afford).  Anyway it sounds like an amazing fitness product and a gateway into a unified body tracking system.  I'd love to try it..... 

Not only did I gush about the product on this blog, I also wrote the company and begged for a demo version.  Stay tuned to this exciting blog to find out what happens next!

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