Jawbone to start shipping UP3 next week, but it's not waterproof

By Aditi Pai

Jawbone UP3Jawbone has announced that they will start shipping their newest activity tracking device, the UP3, to all US customers who preordered the device when it was announced, on April 20th. It also announced that it couldn't get the waterproofing right, so the device won't be for use by swimmers as originally intended.

Jawbone first announced the UP3, a more advanced activity tracking device, along with a cheaper device, the Jawbone Move, in early November 2014. At the time the company said the trackers were due out before the year was over. While Jawbone's Move tracker did launch shortly after, Jawbone subsequently announced that its UP3 would not ship by year-end as previously promised. 

"When we announced UP3 late last year we were confident we would start mass production of the device and begin shipping within a few weeks of the announcement," Travis Bogard, the vice president of product management and strategy at Jawbone, explained in the company's blog. "However, as we began to scale our manufacturing process it became clear that, while most units passed our high quality bar, a proportion did not. Specifically, we were not achieving the level of water resistance we had passed in the design and initial production stages."

Jawbone said they intended for the device to have a water resistance of up to 10 meters, but could not accomplish this, which means while the device is suitable for washing hands and taking a shower, users cannot go swimming with it. Customers who purchased the device because it could be taken swimming can return it with no charge.

The UP3 tracks heart rate via galvanic skin response and 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.

In February, Fortune reported that BlackRock is considering investing as much as $300 million in Jawbone.