Wearables: It really is all about the data
Forget the fashion factor – a silicon wristband is never going to really cut it as the latest street-cred accessory, even if it’s in a funky color. Instead, the real value of wearable technology is in the personal data you collect, as underlined by Jawbone’s latest addition to the UP “eco-system”.
This week Jawbone announced a plug-in for its UP smart wristband that pulls in data from Automatic, which is a (currently US only) hardware gizmo that plugs into a car’s data port, then syncs with a smartphone, using built-in features like GPS. Automatic then tracks driving – and habits – and suggests more economic or time-saving alternatives, and can even detect a crash and automatically alert the emergency services.
Now Automatic and Jawbone have announced a collaboration “to give drivers insight into how their physical activity and driving patterns are connected”. As this blog commented in January, it’s all about the data. And it underlines Jawbone’s already-huge lead over principal rival Fitbit in this area.
Jawbone already has integration with the Internet of Things, via plug-ins for IFTTT. This makes it possible to do things like dim mood lighting when the Jawbone UP is switched into sleep mode, and to track activity into a Google Drive spreadsheet.
The Automatic-Jawbone concept is attractive: With Automatic claiming that amost 80% of logged journey being less than 2km, it’s a move to show UP-wearing drivers the number of steps they could have logged by walking instead: “Tap on a drive and see how many steps you could have logged if you’d walked instead.”
This a good example of how the data generated by wearables has a value, and thanks to Jawbone’s API (application programming interface, or “door to the data” for coders), there will be more.