Fuelling (so to speak) my love for wearable tech and fitness, I recently got the Jawbone UP24 to try, a wristband that tracks activity and sleep, and even eating through the free app, UP.
I must say emphasise once more that fitness trackers aren’t just for the fit and the fanatics – they are good for those who just want to get more active, or those who need a motivator to reach a certain amount of steps a day.
I’m a little obsessed with fitness trackers, and I generally wear four with the Jawbone being the latest (read my piece on TechGirl here about why I *need* to wear so many.
The Jawbone is comfortable and light, and comes in three sizes (small, medium and large) and three colours (onyx, persimmon, and pink coral. It’s also water-resistant, but it’s advised not to go swimming with it. From the moment you set it up with the app, it will log your activity, and when you go to sleep at night, you can set it to “sleep” mode so that it knows you’re sleeping (and not just being idle).
What I love about the Jawbone and what everyone is raving about is its app, UP (for IOS or Android), which connects via Blutooth to the device and syncs all the time. The app then uses your stats to give you insights about your activity, it celebrates milestones, and challenges you to reach more goals. It also gives you reports on your sleep and activity, and what you need more of. You can connect with friends through your address book, Facebook on Twitter on the app, and you can share your stats via social media (if you want – I seldom want to do this!)
While this might sound a bit intimidating to some, it really isn’t, and you’re never guilted into feeling lazy or feeling like you didn’t do enough – the app is supportive, and like a nice personal trainer.
Some of the functions of the app:
• Today I Will: Thee are “commitments” focused in one of three categories – sleep, movement, or water intake – that challenge you to accomplish a suggested goal in a day’s time.
• Streaks & Milestones: As you continue to achieve your goals over time, the UP App rewards you with celebrations of your short-and long-term progress.
• Activity Alerts: When using UP24, you’ll receive relevant move notifications from the UP App throughout the day. These personalised nudges are delivered at a time and place that you set.
• Sleep Recovery: UP and UP24 users can get the benefit of the bands’ revolutionary sleep tracking system even if they occasionally forget to put their band in Sleep Mode
• Activity Log: The UP App lets you reflect on your recent activity by giving you a snapshot of the steps, sleep, workouts and meals you’ve logged since you last visited the app
• New Insights: After consistently tracking sleep and activity for several weeks, the UP Insight Engine will generate a personalised assessment of your steps and sleep.
• Reminders: To stay on track, the UP App allows you to set tailored reminders that prompt you to conduct a desired task at a desired time. Customise your own reminder to complete a workout, get ready for bed, or take a pill, and UP will remind you with an app notification and gentle band buzz.
According to Jawbone research, those who were sent and opted into a “Today I Will” sleep challenge logged 23 more minutes of sleep than average and were 72 percent more likely to go to bed early enough to hit their sleep goal.
– The Jawbone is lightweight, and it’s extremely easy to set up. It’s easy to put on and take off, and it’s not bad looking. The app and its communication is superb. It also only needs charging every 10 days or so.
– There is no screen display, so you can’t access your data immediately, which is a bit irritating for me. I’m all about instant gratification…
Things I asked myself
Would I buy it for myself? Yes
Would I recommend it? Yes
Would I buy it for someone else? Yes (if I had the money)
Could I live without it? Yes
Do I wear it every day? Yes
The UP24 is available for R1899 at Dion Wired, Incredible Connection, Kalahari and Takealot.
Good to know
There’s another standalone iOS app UP Coffee, which tracks your caffeine intake. When it is connected from data from your UP, it can tell you how your caffeine intake affects your sleep patterns. You just need to log each coffee, tea, energy drink or other caffeinated beverage in the UP Coffee app to see a visual display of where you fall on a spectrum from “Wired” to “Sleep Ready” at any given time. After tracking both caffeine intake and sleep for 10 days, UP Coffee can tell you things like the amount of sleep you lose on average for every 100mg of caffeine you ingest. I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t report back. I’m a little bit nervous to try as I think I know what the results will be, so maybe I’ll wait for a calmer time to try it…