Jawbone adds heart rate sensor for UP3, takes on Misfit with Jawbone Move

By Jonah Comstock
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Jawbone UP3It's that time of year again when all the major activity tracking device makers are announcing their next generation devices. And with the specter of the Apple Watch on the horizon, the battle for activity tracking is more frenzied than ever. Basis announced its Basis Peak at the end of September and Fitbit announced the Fitbit Charge, Charge HR, and Surge at the end of October. Now Jawbone has announced the UP3 and the Jawbone Move, two new trackers due out before the year is up.

The two devices offer a high-end and low-end activity tracker; While the UP3 will sell for $179.99, the Jawbone Move will go for just $49.99. Both devices will include activity and sleep tracking features, but the UP3 will also include heart rate tracking, which is rapidly becoming a must-have for the category.

"UP Move is a fun, easy way to track activity and at just $49.99 it's a great option for anyone at the beginning of a weight loss journey," Vice President of Product Management and Strategy Travis Bogard said in a statement. 

Jawbone MoveThe Move has a different form factor than the UP line, with all the sensors in a coin-sized module that can be worn in either a wristband or a clip, similar to the Misfit Shine. It has an LED display on the surface that lights up in response to touch to display movement and sleep data, and uses a six-month watch battery rather than plugging in to charge. It will still have Bluetooth connectivity, allowing it to connect to the Jawbone UP app, including the Smart Coach, a new app feature that will deliver personalized feedback and suggestions.

The UP3 tracks heart rate via galvanic skin response -- technology that likely came out of Jawbone's acquisition of BodyMedia. By using skin response rather than a light sensor, Jawbone could potentially track heart rate during motion. For now, though, the company only promises to track "resting heart rate." A free upcoming firmware update will allow additional data to be captured, the company said in a statement, which could very likely refer to active heart rate.

Other sensors in the device include a tri-axis accelerometer, bio-impedance sensors, and ambient temperature sensors. The device tracks sleep and breaks out best guesses for time in REM, light, and deep sleep. It can also identify specific activities including running, cross-training, and tennis.

The UP3 has a new design that includes a different kind of fastening clasp. It's water-resistant up to 10 feet and boasts a battery life of a full week.

Jawbone's last product launch was the UP24, which launched almost exactly a year ago and added Bluetooth-enabled data transmission to smartphones for the first time.

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