“Wearable tech” is definitely creeping into the market, from bluetooth connected watches, google glass and activity monitors. But something that particularly interests me is the Jawbone UP activity tracker, which tracks your sleep (duration, quality, even how long it takes you to fall asleep!) how many steps you take and even what you eat – seriously, how it does this is kinda beyond my actual understanding. It’s pretty cool huh – and it looks good too.
I think the Steps “motion” portion sounds like a pedometer, and like the other trackers, it measures how many steps you accumulate daily and puts it in a visually understandable manner. It also allows you to log your workouts, and their respective calorie burns, and to sort of impress you, it tells you what calories were burned actively and what calories were used because you are simply alive. This display is in hopes that the overall calories burned per day will increase as you “challenge” yourself to hit the target.
The Sleep portion is what impresses me the most; not many people realize that waking up from the right point in their sleep makes a huge difference to how refreshed you feel.The Jawbone UP first tracks your sleep, probably based on movement and wakes you when you are at your lightest.
To my understanding, optimally you should be in deep sleep 40ish % of the time and during this time your body and muscles are more relaxed and don’t move, not even slightly. The Jawbone UP tracks your sleep and recognizes when you are in light sleep, i.e. ready to be woken. So you set your alarm for say 9am, and from 8:30am onwards it will start picking the optimal time to wake you. The band vibrates ever so gently to avoid leaving your body in a “grumpy shock,” something my mother is highly skilled at. This simple tweak to my sleep experience has in all honesty improved the quality of my sleep, be it 3 hours or 8 hours.
The last function of having the Jawbone UP compared to the rest of the available bands is the social feature it has. In our socially developed generation, with the need to constantly connect. The Jawbone up allows you to find friends, and connect to build your UP Team that will help you live it up. Although somewhat invasive and weird at the start, you get the good intentions, it’s like having a “gym buddy” to help challenge you for greater results.
My only criticism for the up is that you know it’s there, It doesn’t hinder your movement or anything, but you definitely know you’re wearing it and it could take a bit of getting used to.