The past couple days, we have reported on the rubber wristbands craze this holiday season: Jawbone’s Up. It is particularly interesting because it takes the idea of a traditional rubber wristbands and jazzes it up with technology.
Wired Magazine reviewed this new gadget, and gave it a thumbs down. Here’ s the story: “My typical day at Wired involves two minutes of quasi-ambulatory floor puttering for every 58 minutes spent sitting at my desk. I work out at home, yes, but my fitness regimen could be best described as low-impact snack digestion.
Were it not for my dog Whiskey (she of the twice-daily poop walk), and my girlfriend Julie (she of the twice-daily “Whiskey needs a walk!” reminder), I probably wouldn’t receive much exercise at all.
And so it was with jazz and anticipation that I began to test the Jawbone Up, an innovative new lifestyle monitoring system that consists of an electronics-packed wristband and accompanying iPhone app. The two elements work together to hector, needle, and ultimately inspire the user to live a more active, healthy life.
The Up system can tell you how many foot steps you take in a given day, and includes a bunch of “challenge” features to prod you to take even more. It can also monitor your sleep habits, and gently wake you up within a predetermined window during REM sleep. REM is not only your lightest sleep cycle, but also the best cycle in which to wake if you want to avoid that groggy morning lethargy that feels like all the blood in your brain has been replaced with frozen Barenjager.
So, yes, the Up has great potential as a health and wellness gadget. And, yes, the Up worked fabulously — until it stopped working entirely. It turns out one of the cleverest gadgets of 2011 currently has such grave hardware reliability problems, I can’t recommend it. In fact, until Jawbone can prove that it has remedied what’s causing the wristbands to fail at an alarming rate, no one should consider buying the Up.”