Smartwatches might be all the craze in recent months, but fitness trackers, the classic wearable, are far from dead.
Jawbone puts its stake in the ground with its newest fitness tracker, the UP3.
Most fitness trackers are an evolution of the pedometer, but recent iterations have begun to pack in even more sensors, and the UP3 appears to be the epitome of that evolution.
The UP3 contains Jawbone’s new multi-sensor, expanding beyond the metrics of most traditional wearables. The UP3 constantly measuring heart rate, activity level, respiration, hydration, skin conductance, body temperature, and more.
Heart-rate sensors have become a staple of the current generation of other trackers, but the standard method is via an optical sensor that must be pressed tightly against one’s wrist, resulting in either inconsistent measurements, or an uncomfortable tracker.
The UP3 improves on this method. Instead, it uses 4 small sensors on the inside of the band, which only require a minimal light contact with skin to properly gather temperature.
The ability to casually gather such detailed health data dramatically increases Jawbone’s ability to provide analytic on stress levels, heart health, sleep quality, and more.
Unfortunately, not all data can be gathered through wrist sensors. Diet data, for example, will still need to be manually recorded, but the UP3 has improved on much of the requirements for user input data.
With past version of the UP band–as with many other fitness trackers–the sensors could only tell activity level and heart rate, but the specific type of exercise typically needs to be input manually. The UP3’s sensors are finally advanced enough that it can make an educated guess based on motion data to determine if the wearer is running, cycling, doing yoga, or lifting weights.
The UP3 will also learn throughout its use, so the longer the wearer wears it, the more accurate the data collection gets. Jawbone is also providing a 4.0 version of the UP mobile app for Android and iPhone to provide actionable readings on the collected data, providing a health coach along with the raw data.
Jawbone has promised even more latent features to be activated in both the band and the app in the near future.
Any wearable that gathers data as ubiquitously as the UP3 presents a problem, though. It should be worn 24/7, meaning comfort and aesthetics are very important. The UP3 is an anodized aluminum band with a one-size-fits-all adjustable hypoallergenic rubber wrist strap, so it should be able to be adjusted to comfortably fit any wrist size. Also, since the sensors don’t require tight skin contact, the band can be worn as tight or loose as necessary.
Despite all the extra features, the UP3 is no larger (sometimes smaller) than much of the competition. Jawbone is also working on using some different materials, such as denim, so there may be some more stylish (and comfortable) editions releasing down the road as well, with a customization section on Jawbone’s website “coming soon.”
The UP3 might not necessarily be able to compete with jewelry, but it won’t necessarily be too ugly to wear for most occasions.
Jawbone says the band will launch this year and will cost $179.99, rounding out a full suite of other UP fitness trackers from Jawbone, with the UP Move at $49.99, and the UP24 at $129.99, all available at Jawbone.com.