Walking the corridors of business power has become a competition unto itself. You have to keep your steps up, so watercooler discussions become more active peacock displays of the latest wearable gadget.
One subset of these is the fitness trackers, whether it is a Fitbit, Garmin or FlyFit it is all the rage for those looking to trace their steps and sleep.
Jawbone has also been in the market with the UP wristband, and adds to the device range with the UP 24, a Bluetooth smartphone connected device available in a variety of well-chosen colours.
The UP is a sophisticated device masked in a stylish snap-on wristband that feels cool compared to a traditional strap connected gadget. The ribbed rubber has not caused any skin irritation to my normally sensitive skin, and the matt silver button and connection cap compliment the design nicely.
Fully powered, the UP 24 has enough battery life for a week.
Like most man-about-town types, I sport other wrist based jewellery which the UP 24 compliments well, given the understated and neutral look. The only issue here is remembering to remove the device before showering or swimming.
Once you are past the aesthetics it is time to think of the function of the UP 24 – to begin with, unlike its junior stablemate, the UP 24 is a Bluetooth device, enabling wireless syncing with the smartphone application.
The app itself is well laid out presenting your statistics for activities, step count and sleep patterns in a brightly coloured lifeline. The apps home page quickly shows how well you are tracking towards the daily goals of sleep and steps, and with a few screen touches, access to log activities such as workouts, bike rides and so forth, mood and food intake.
There is also an opportunity to set goals and read up on hints or tips about healthy living.
You can find friends using UP devices via the app and form a team. The relevance of which slightly escapes me unless you are using the device for actual team training. Unfortunately there is no option to set “team goals” which would aid this function. As it stands it just feels like another avenue of friendly online “stalking” as you follow your friends walking, eating, exercise and rest patterns.
At night, a quick press of the UP 24’s wristband button puts the device into sleep mode, measuring just how restless your nightly recharge is.
Unlike the more expensive Garmin devices, the UP 24 does not measure body activity beyond steps and rest, so no heart activity recording is a real missed opportunity that would be a great addition to any future UP revision.
There is also no GPS in this device, which means the UP 24 struggles with measuring any activity such as bike riding, which instead gets interpreted as steps.
As an Executive toy/talking piece and bit-of-fun the UP 24 fulfils its role perfectly. As a device for recording activity as part of a general fitness regime or goal attainment the wristband is also very useful.
Even if you are not trying to meet any fitness goals, one of the best features of the UP band is the inactivity warning. Set it to an appropriate time (mine is 45 minutes) and it will vibrate (during the day) when you have been idle to long. This provides a great excuse to get out of those long boring meetings with Audit.
The JawBone UP 24 has an RRP of AU $179.95 and is available now