The Quantified Self movement espouses the empowering potential of tracking and analyzing everything about our day to day life using the gadgets available to hand. The recent Quantified – Self Conference provided indications of the innovation bubbling beneath the surface of this scene and product collaborations between Nike and Apple have already illustrated the consumer appeal behind monitoring personal metrics.
Against this backdrop Jawbone unveiled ‘Up’ – an exciting piece of quantified self merchandise incorporating a sensor rich wristband and an accompanying smartphone app, at the TED Global conference.
At present the major hurdles facing quantified-self products are user experience issues like ease of use (such as how painless is the data entry and subsequent integration with analysis software) and the aesthetics of the data gathering devices themselves. Jawbone’s pedigree in crafting wearable designs leaves them well placed to gain the edge in this area.
Take for instance the novel manner in which Jawbone have streamlined the at times tedious process of data entry:
Up’s sensors collect data about how much you’ve been sleeping and how much you’ve been moving. That data is then fed into a smartphone app, which also takes in information about your meals. (You enter meal data manually, in part by taking pictures of what you’ve eaten.
Furthermore the data collation sensors and the app work dynamically:
If you haven’t slept much, when you wake up the app might suggest a high-protein breakfast and an extra glass of water.
Jawbone have done the cause of calm computing a great favor by bringing their fashion sensible aesthetics to this device. The gentle nudges and suggestions which the apps provide also transform Up into an excellent piece of persuasive technology with a noble aim in mind. Travis Bogard of Jawbone explains:
Lifestyle diseases such as diabetes are killing more people than communicable diseases. We’re trying to solve that problem.
UPDATE: Exclusive report for PSFK about how this device works – here.