Jawbone Up2, Up3, Up4: What’s the Difference?

17 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Jawbone Gets Back UP With New Payment Wearable.

Jawbone introduced the Up4, a $200 fitness tracker that allows users to pay with their American Express credit card by tapping their wrists on a special terminal. Move seamlessly between a heart-pumping gym session and the supermarket cereal aisle with Jawbone’s new UP4 fitness tracker, which features American Express contactless payments. With the UP4, users can tap to pay anywhere Amex contactless payments are accepted. “We believe this unique technology will delight our active, digitally savvy card members in a powerful way and drive a new type of engagement at hundreds of thousands of merchant locations nationwide,” said Leslie Berland, EVP of Digital Partnerships and Development at American Express.

Yet that’s all taking a backseat now that Jawbone has announced a pair of new devices, and a report from Re/code indicates the company had raised another $300 million at a $3 billion valuation. After years of having to take out our wallets to pay for goods and services, suddenly we’re presented with multiple ways to pay straight from our wrists. Expected to launch this summer for $199.99, the Jawbone UP4 features the same slim design and multi-sensor platform of its predecessor, but adds advanced sleep and activity tracking and heart monitoring.

Jawbone is launching the UP2 wristband as a successor to the UP24, containing all the functionality of the latter device but with the same smaller form factor and new design of the UP3, which Jawbone announced last November. The UP4 is a result of a partnership between AmEx and Jawbone, so Visa and MasterCard users might be out of luck when the UP4 first goes on sale for $199.99 later this summer. The UP3 has been best by manufacturing delays due in part to the company’s insistence that it be waterproof, (Jawbone managed to make it water-resistant) and will finally hit shelves on April 20 for $180. Now Jawbone, the maker of fitness-tracking wristbands, has announced that its latest band will allow users to make payments with a flick of the wrist, as well. Retailing for $99, the discreet tracker connects to Jawbone’s UP app to set custom reminders that vibrate on your wrist when it’s time to work out, take a daily medication, or go to bed.

Leslie Berland, American Express’ executive vice president of partnerships, said the credit card company has been testing payments on the Up4 for months and hasn’t found such security measures are necessary. “If you think somebody else has your band, or if you lose it, you just go into the app and you disable it right there so it takes away any of that risk,” Berland said. “It’s kind of like when you lose your card but it’s easier because you can go right into the app and tap a button and then that link is broken. Sync the UP2 with your smartphone for real-time progress reports; the wristband features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts up to seven days on a single charge, and a shower- and splash-resistant design. “[W]e are excited to announce UP2 as the stylish successor to UP24,” Bogard said about the Yves Behar-designed device. “And at just $99 we believe it is a best-in-class wearable appealing to the largest sector of the market.” Available in black, the UP2 can now be purchased on Jawbone.com, BestBuy.com, and Amazon; it will hit Best Buy stores and other retailers on April 19. Both the UP4 and UP3 also offer what Jawbone calls “Smart Coach,” software that’s supposed to make fitness recommendations based on what it learns about your activity levels. Jawbone also appears to have bought itself more time to keep its business running, having raised $300 million from investment firm BlackRock, according to a report by Kara Swisher on tech site Re/code. That, he said, never panned out, so instead the Up3 is finally shipping and now it’s merely splash resistant: You can wear it in the rain, but don’t take it swimming.

Rahman is steering one of the more compelling strategies among wearable device makers, marrying the stylish design principles of lead designer Yves Behar with smart data analysis. Rahman leads an impressive team of data scientists including LinkedIn’s People-You-May-Know inventor Monica Rogatti, who are figuring out how to turn the reams of data that UP wearers churn out into useful insights, and even how to encourage healthier behavior with the right notifications. The two devices have the same multi-sensor guts inside, including a tri-axis accelerometer, ambient temperature sensors and four bioimpedance sensors located on the inside of the band to measure your heart rate.

With all that, the two will offer estimates of your steps, distance traveled, workout intensity, calories burned and sleep type (light, deep and REM). Battery life for the Up3 and Up4 will come in at about a week, which Bogard said makes the bands ideal for 24-hour wear, as opposed to smartwatches which are similarly priced. (Android Wear watches can be had for around $200 and the Apple Watch starts at a nearby $350.) Jawbone’s Up bands are decidedly not watches—they don’t even have a display for telling the time.

When pressed about that recent and rising competition, Bogard said that Jawbone doesn’t see its fitness band business going extinct due to smartwatches. “We think these worlds co-exist and we actually think they’ll amplify each other over time,” he said. “We think these are very different use cases, solving very different problems.” Smartwatches, Bogard argues, are daytime devices rather than fitness products, whereas dedicated fitness bands will be built for continuous wear. “The value proposition there is really around notifications, thus you want to have a screen as big as possible to interact with,” he said of smartwatches. “Where we’ve been focused is lifestyle, being on the body 24-7 with the goal of total health.” So, will people buy both a fitness band and a smartwatch?

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