Jawbone taps Automatic to better understand how driving affects activity levels, mood

By Aditi Pai
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Jawbone partners AutomaticFitness tracker company Jawbone has taken a new step to enhance their tracking data. The company recently partnered with Automatic, a smart driving tool that connects to a car's computer through a small device, called the Link, and tracks driving stats for abrupt breaking, speeding, and rapid acceleration.

Users who have Automatic, which costs $99.95, as well as a Jawbone UP fitness tracker, can now integrate their driving data into the Jawbone app so that it appears alongside their physical activity log. If users miss their target step count for the day, the app might suggest that it was because they drove more than was necessary that day. Users will also be able to tap on a "drive" to view the number of steps they could have walked instead.

Those who use the Jawbone app to track mood and diet can also compare this data to the time they spent in their car and the routes they took that day to correlate potential moments of road rage. In addition, users can identify moments when they are happiest.

In March, Jawbone launched an app also focused on correlating behaviors. The app, UP Coffee, helps users regulate their caffeine intake and understand how caffeine affects their sleep. While the app is open for anyone to download, not just owners of a Jawbone UP wristband, if the user owns the UP or UP24, he or she can also sync UP Coffee with that device.

A growing number of digital health tracking companies are moving beyond simple tracking and focusing on how different behaviors relate to each other.

Fertility app maker Glow launched a program in late 2013 called Glow Insights, which learns from the data that users enter and personalizes fertility related facts based on the data. The company also partnered with MyFitnessPal, which provides helpful data that the app factors into its machine learning and analytics programs to help Glow give better insights to users. One insight Glow discovered from this correlation is that skim milk is harmful to drink while trying to conceive. The company saw that if a user was drinking skim milk with her coffee, Glow could suggest that she swap out skim for whole milk.

Another company, Zurich, Switzerland-based OptimizeMe focuses entirely on mashing up different data streams. While OptimizeMe allows users to manually enter data into its app, it also integrates with Moves and uses the Foursquare database of locations to record where users are going and what kind of activity they are doing. Correlations can be as simple as what exercises work better for weight loss or they can help users understand which friends affect their mood and, from there, which changes users could make to their social life.

Some car companies have also gotten health tracking. In 2011, Toyota developed and tested an ECG embedded within a car’s steering wheel. Ford has also been working on adding tracking features to its cars. Ford has also taken steps to explore tracking. The company has announced partnerships with Medtronic, WellDoc, and IMS Health in recent years.