As part of my wanting to become more fit over the past few months I decided I wanted to track how well I was doing with accomplishing my goals. Up until now I could track my weight and calorie intake with the My Fitness Pal iOS App. This provides the basics, but I wanted a little more.
I took some time to research and came across several fitness wristbands. I ultimately decided on the UP by Jawbone with MotionX. The UP by Jawbone is a wristband that tracks your movement and sleep, which you then sync with the UP companion app for iOS (Android App coming soon).
The wristband is worn day in night. During the day it tracks your movement or lack of movement and at night it tracks sleep, the amount, when, where and so forth. The technology behind the data tracking is MotionX.
[quote]MotionX® provides a complete environment for sensor-based solutions supporting state-of-the-art sensors and networks of sensors. MotionX has developed expertise in the life-cycle management of dynamic SensorWebs. In particular, key supported sensors are motion, imaging, proximity, light, magnetometer, and GPS.[/quote]
The data collected by the wristband is synced with the companion UP app via the audio jack on your iOS device (Android App coming soon). The app recommends syncing twice a day. For myself this is pretty easy to do, once when I awake and before I go to bed. I wished the UP could sync wirelessly, and considering it is made by a company known for Bluetooth I found this pretty odd, but if you can overcome that issue it is nice device.
The iOS App also features the ability to track daily calorie intake. It does this by allowing you to scan in the bar code of the food, searching for the food or taking a picture of the food. Additionally the App allows you to track workouts and sleep manually. Finally the app provides access to trends, notifications and others, that share their UP data with you.
The wristband also features the following: [unordered_list style=”bullet”]
- Smart Sleep Alarm for waking you and not your bed partner
- Idle Alert that buzzes you when you have been idle for longer than your specified time
- Stop watch to time an activity
- Power Nap, which uses sleep data to calculate the optimal power nap time.
- The UP wristband is water resistant, so using it while you work out, take a shower or participate in a snowball fight won’t hurt the band. The wristband, on a full charge, will last 10 days before recharging.
[/unordered_list]Overall I like device. I have set the idle alert for 1 hour and this has come in handy quite a bit. This also helps me to get out of my seat at work and move around. With chronic back problems my whole life, getting a reminder to walk is a life saver. I also can wear the band all day and all night. Except when I take a shower I have had the band on at all times. I just don’t like something attached to my wrist getting wet and then having to dry it. Versus a clip device like the Fitbit, I don’t feel as though I am going to lose the UP. I can’t tell you the number of pedometers I’ve owned and lost a few days in. Finally, I like that it tracks my sleep and movement. Knowing the amount of sleep I have gotten is also important to my health and making sure I have taken enough steps during the day. Whether it be on the elliptical or walking to work, every bit counts.
The UP does have some downfalls. The food tracking app is not as useful as the My Fitness Pal App. The big annoyance is you can’t set your breakfast, lunch and meals apart. Also entering the portions requires a slide up or down motion on the iPhone, which is not an ideal way to zero in on 16.9 ounces of your favorite diet green tea drink. Also for the price (see below) you would think a maker of bluetooth devices could have added the technology to the device. Though not a deal breaker, not having to sync the device, which on occasion requires you to reseat the UP bank in the AudioJack of the iPhone, would be nice.
The band costs $129.00, it comes in 3 sizes, small, medium or large, and in a variety of colors. Best of all if you are not happy with the device Jawbone offers a 60 day money back guarantee. Currently the UP by Jawbone is sold at Apple Retail Stores and via the UP by Jawbone website.