New to the Wearables.com Database: Jawbone UP4
Jul24

New to the Wearables.com Database: Jawbone UP4

Each Friday, we alert our readers as to what devices and companies we’ve added to the authoritative Wearables.com Database over the course of the week. This week we’ve added the Jawbone UP4. Jawbone UP4 The Jawbone UP4 activity tracker is the wireless-payment-enabled sibling of the UP3. The connected fitness tracker brings all the good looks expected from Jawbone design, as well as a suite of activity and bio-metric monitoring sensors and features. The UP4 allows you to monitor idle time, active time, sleep quality, steps, and calories. Bio-impendance sensor allow you to monitor resting heart rate, respiration, and galvanic skin response. You can link your UP4 to eligible American Express cards to enable NFC-powered wireless payments. Founded in 1999, Jawbone has been developing audio technology for over a decade. Most recently, Jawbone has developed two wearables, the Jawbone UP and Jawbone UP 24, that allow the user to collect data on daily activities and coach the user to a healthier lifestyle. Check back with us next week for...

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This week in wearables: Under Armour acquisitions, a Casio smartwatch, and Army robotic exoskeleton
Jul11

This week in wearables: Under Armour acquisitions, a Casio smartwatch, and Army robotic exoskeleton

Hot gadgets — and a healthy dose of hot drama — hit the wearables industry this week. We’ve got you covered on what you need to know. 1. The last time you had a Casio watch, you probably used it as a calculator or, if you were lucky, as a TV remote. Casio is jumping back into the spotlight with a new smartwatch. President Kazuhiro Kashio is aiming for this watch to be a timepiece first and will let the “smart” features fall in place second. 2. Under Armour continues to make big purchases with the recent acquisition of fitness search engine, Gritness. Since UA opened another headquarters in Austin, Texas, Under Armour has bought up major startups in the area. It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing some of these Central Texas companies integrated into our favorite Under Armour products and technology. 3. The U.S. Army developed a robotic exoskeleton to help soldiers stabilize their shooting arms. The Mobile Arm eXoskeleton for Firearm Aim Stabilization, or MAXFAS, gives the arm full mobility while steadying the arm during aim and fire. Without tremors, looks like soldiers could hit the bullseye every time. 4. What if wearables could do more than just relay data? Environmental designer, Neri Oxman, attempts to answer that question by developing wearable devices that can reproduce biological functions. Through a complicated process of synthetic microorganisms and 3D printing, Oxman hopes to develop a line of devices to create calcium for bones, create skin, and even act as a full body system. 5. Heath tech company Owaves might have just made a “killer app.” Wellness GPS is a new app that pairs with smartwatches to help users plan every part of their day on a 24-hour calendar. From exercising to napping and eating, Wellness GPS is different because it was created “to help you prioritize these life-sustaining activities alongside traditional work and errands,” according to CEO, Royan Kamyar. 6. As the saying goes, third time’s a charm for Jawbone, who filed another lawsuit against Fitbit. Jawbone continues its argument that Fitbit stole company secrets by nabbing certain employees and wants to see Fitbit banned from importing company products into the country. While Jawbone continues to throw legal papers, Fitbit continues to cruise to the top of the...

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Wearables market shows huge increase, Apple Watch will be measuring stick
Jun04

Wearables market shows huge increase, Apple Watch will be measuring stick

Good news for wearables companies worldwide: Market trends demonstrate a growing interest in and opportunity for the wearable tech industry. In a report published on Wednesday, the International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that vendors shipped a total of 11.4 million wearable devices in the first quarter of 2015 — a staggering number when compared to the 3.8 million wearable devices shipped in the first quarter of 2014. That’s an impressive 200 percent increase. IDC Research manager Ramon Llamas says that bucking the post-holiday decline usually associated with the first quarter of the year is a strong indicator for the wearables market’s future success. “It demonstrates growing end-user interest and the vendors’ ability to deliver a diversity of devices and experiences,” he writes. “In addition, demand from emerging markets is on the rise and vendors are eager to meet these new opportunities.” Now that the Apple Watch is on the market and available for in-store purchase in the United States in just two weeks, IDC anticipates its presence will become a sort of market barometer. “The Apple Watch will likely become the device that other wearables will be measured against, fairly or not,” Llamas said. “This will force the competition to up their game in order to stay on the leading edge of the market.” The Apple Watch is soon to get into the hands of more consumers when it becomes available for in-store purchase in seven additional countries (Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan) on June 26. IDC’s findings support the entrance into emerging markets, stating, “[D]emand [for wearables] from emerging markets is on the rise and vendors are eager to meet these new opportunities.” IDC ranked the top first quarter wearables vendors as (in descending order) Fitbit, Xiaomi, Garmin, Samsung, and Jawbone, with the currently feuding Jawbone and Fitbit showing the strongest year-over-year...

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Jawbone says Fitbit is guilty of poaching talent and trading secrets
May28

Jawbone says Fitbit is guilty of poaching talent and trading secrets

Wearable tech veteran Fitbit has been in hot water ever since announcing plans to go public. Generally a cause for celebration, the company is in the midst of a lawsuit filed by unhappy customers claiming the activity tracker’s sleep tracking capabilities were falsely advertised and have adverse health affects. But Fitbit now has a bigger problem to contend with: Top rival Jawbone has filed for lawsuit, claiming their case “arises out of the clandestine efforts of Fitbit to steal talent, trade secrets and intellectual property from its chief competitor.” According to the complaint, Fitbit has been poaching key employees from Jawbone over the past year. Furthermore, these employees downloaded and divulged sensitive information before leaving the company. One worker was hired by Fitbit but neglected to give her notice until she had downloaded what Jawbone called a “playbook” outlining future products. Another sent confidential information to his personal email. “In the court filing, Jawbone quoted an unnamed executive search consultant who reportedly said, ‘Fitbit’s objective is to decimate Jawbone,’” reported the New York Times. Fitbit CPO Marty Reaume acknowledged hawking Jawbone employees, but denied all allegations regarding theft of sensitive information. “We are unaware of any confidential or proprietary information of Jawbone in our possession and we intend to vigorously defend against these allegations,” the executive stated. The lawsuit comes amidst Jawbone’s purported financial difficulties, although the company adamantly insists any such speculation is largely unfounded and over exaggerated. “Demand for Jawbone’s products are extremely strong, as is the company’s financial health. The company has plenty of cash and an exciting product pipeline,” said a rep. Considering the growth the wearables market is expected to reach over the next decade, it will be interesting to see which of these health tracker moguls will come out on...

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Recent Jawbone funding turns out to be a loan, not cash
May25

Recent Jawbone funding turns out to be a loan, not cash

Initially thought to be an equity investment, the recent $300 million infusion from well-respected asset management company BlackRock to wearable tech maker Jawbone turns out to actually be loan — and a strict one, at that. The difference in this iteration of Jawbone funding (aside from using debt rather than equity) is that the company is under BlackRock’s operational thumb; the finance giant now has a big say in Jawbone’s activities, from asset management to employee hiring and firing. Despite being valued at $3 billion recently, Business Insider called Jawbone a “tech unicorn,” meaning its private-market value is larger than $1 billion which puts the company at greater risk of failure. Bloomberg wrote last year that Jawbone’s troubles somewhat come as a result of an unstable business plan, having jumped from a focus on Bluetooth headsets to fitness (and now payment-capable) bands. This development is especially interesting considering the recent appointment of former Google exec Sameer Samat to president of Jawbone. It is hard to believe a stalwart employee would abandon a solid ship for a sinking one, so one can’t help but wonder whether he’s got some tricks up his...

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