WHEN Jawbone launched its advanced fitness tracker earlier this year, international product head Jorgen Nordin was already promising to add more features to the device free of charge.
Those new features arrive today when a software update delivers around-the-clock heart-rate monitoring and automatic sleep-tracking to the Jawbone Up3.
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It’s a development that comes at an important time for the fitness-focused company, with Australian research firm Telsyte calling “smart wristbands” a growing market, and rival Fitbit named as the top wearable technology maker.
New features unlocked … The Jawbone Up3 fitness-tracking band is the first to measure t
New features unlocked … The Jawbone Up3 fitness-tracking band is the first to measure the wearer’s heart rate while they sleep. Source: Supplied
Jawbone’s top-of-the-line Up3 device launched in Australia in May, though its reviews detailed omissions, including a bioimpendance heart-rate sensor that would only capture a user’s pulse while they slept.
Jawbone product management vice-president Travis Bogard said the new update would ensure the fitness band captured wearers’ heart rates “periodically throughout the day” when they were still.
“Passive heart rate, when compared to your resting heart rate, gives you a more complete picture of your heart health and helps you become aware of how factors such as caffeine, stress and other stimuli can affect your heart in daily life,” Mr Bogard said on Jawbone’s blog.
The update will also add “automatic sleep detection” to the fitness tracker, meaning users will no longer have to tap the device three times to switch it into sleep mode — an action easy to forget when tired.
Beating smartwatches … Sales figures show fitness trackers are currently beating smartw
Beating smartwatches … Sales figures show fitness trackers are currently beating smartwatches for wearable technology sales. Source: Supplied
The automatic sleep mode will match those offered on some rival Fitbit devices, such as its Charge HR.
The new features could prove beneficial for Jawbone and its Up3, with Telsyte this week predicting smart wristbands will grow 30 per cent in Australia during the second half of the year, in addition to two million already in use.
Research firm IDC also praised the fitness tracker market recently, naming Fitbit the leader in wearable technology with a 24.3 per cent share of the market in the second quarter of the year, above Apple’s 19.9 per cent. Apple’s entrance knocked Jawbone out of its fifth place, however.
Existing Jawbone Up3 users can download the app update from the Apple or Google Play app stores, and update their band from within the app.