Healthy Obsessions The Adventures of a Mild Obsessive Compulsive

Jawbone UP looks like an interesting contender in sleep tech

Just looked at this for the first time (thanks to a commenter suggesting it).

Looks like it uses the same idea as the fitbit and Sleep Cycle; motion tracking to assess your sleep cycles. It’s sound tech, and works well in the two I’ve tried out.

The UP is more of a direct competitor with fitbit, seeing as it also works for tracking movement during the day. Which makes me wonder just how they’re tracking movement, seeing as the Jawbone UP is on the wrist. I don’t know about you, but I move my wrist an awful lot more during the day than I move most of the rest of me (ah, the sedentary life of a writer). Seems likely that there’s some communication with the iPhone to help with that.

I do really like some of the features they mention:

  • Water resistant  (woo! I have a history of dropping expensive electronics in water.)
  • Reminder to move periodically during sedentary (computer focused) activities (this is hugely important for people with RSI, and even though I *know* I should do something like this, I never actually do.)
  • Silent wake-up, via vibration, at the appropriate point in your sleep cycle

That last one is actually of tremendous interest. With both Sleep Cycle and the Zeo, which do the same thing with varying levels of accuracy, you have the issue of potentially waking your partner at an inopportune time. Since they both use sound, it’s really impossible to wake only one person. I can’t tell you the number of times the alarm has gone off waking one of us at exactly the wrong moment, thereby leaving us groggy the rest of the day.

Jawbone UP looks like it might solve that particular problem. Hard to know, not having experienced it and therefore not knowing if the vibration would be enough to wake me. (I’ve been known to sleep through sizable earthquakes). The idea of a dawn lamp really still seems best to me. And if anyone finds a way to connect that to the Zeo (or, heck, any one of these sleep trackers) I’m so totally there.

From what little I’ve seen in commentary, there may be a question of sturdiness with the UP. But then, I found that the fitbit tended to crack (both fitbits I’ve had did this, which makes me wonder at the customer service response saying they’d never seen that before, but they would–and did–replace my broken fitbit). For that matter, the Zeo started malfunctioning a few months ago, and since then it’s been gathering dust on my dresser. Sleep Cycle is, at this point, the only one I’m using every night. Though it is the least accurate of the three. It’s the easiest.

Of course, the reason I’m not using my fitbit is that I managed to misplace it and then, once I found it, I couldn’t find the charger. So, I might still be using it if I could charge it…

The UP weighs in at a solid $99, making it equivalent to the fitbit in terms of cost.

Fitbit Ultra

Zeo @ Amazon

One Thought on “Jawbone UP looks like an interesting contender in sleep tech

  1. Christopher Davis on November 28, 2011 at 9:00 am said:

    I suspect FitBit would sell you a replacement charger. I’ve considered picking up an extra one to put in my laptop bag so I don’t have to worry about battery life on long trips (and get the bonus ability to upload my data while on the road).

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