Jawbone, the maker of bluetooth headsets, speakers and a series of fitness trackers, including the impressive Jawbone Up, will soon allow folks without the physical Jawbone devices to use the Jawbone app. That means if you have a Fitbit (see disclosure), a smartphone like the iPhone 5s or even the future Apple Watch, you can send your data to Jawbone and get the benefits of the Jawbone integrations and coaching.
From the Jawbone blog post:
[blockquote person=”” attribution=””]Later this month we are launching a new UP app that allows anyone with a compatible smartphone, Android Wear device, Pebble smartwatch, or any wearable connected to the Health app for iOS 8 – such as the Apple Watch – to instantly join the UP community. In addition to making UP more widely available, we will also release an open device-connectivity framework for the new app, enabling device manufacturers to build products that communicate directly with the UP system via an open Bluetooth Smart or Wi-Fi protocol.
While the step will likely be portrayed as a response to Apple’s announcement Tuesday of the Apple Watch, Jawbone said in a blog post that is had been working toward this for a long time. And it makes sense: The future of the internet of things will depend on connected hardware to get going, but the value is in the data that the hardware will collect and how that data is presented to consumers and partners so they can act on it. It’s one of the core topics we’ll discuss at our Structure Connect event Oct. 21 and 22 where I’ll interview Hosain Rahman, the CEO and founder of Jawbone.
Until he and I have that conversation, here’s a smart FastCo article on the Jawbone efforts that explains why the move could work:
[blockquote person=”” attribution=””]The arrival of Apple’s wearable isn’t the only potentially game-changing development coming out of Apple’s big product launch for companies such as Jawbone. HealthKit, Apple’s platform for health and fitness data, is about to arrive. It’ll make it easier for Jawbone and others to get fitness information in and out of their own systems, and will presumably allow them to connect with the data which Apple’s own device collects. If HealthKit catches on, the whole idea of a piece of fitness hardware being tied to one device might start to feel obsolete.
And honestly, that’s exactly what the internet of things should enable. Data flowing easily between platforms and devices with the ability to innovate by combining different streams to build new services or applications. Jawbone will still devices, but even if you don’t have one, you may still end up a customer in some form or fashion.
Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.