Jawbone Acquires Two Companies


With health and fitness proving a big market for connected devices, companies offering these products need to be one step ahead of the competition. One company that may be better known for entertainment devices recently announced plans to move further into wellness.

Jawbone, www.jawbone.com, is perhaps most famous for its Jambox portable speakers and Bluetooth headsets. But the company has also gained attention for its UP device, a wristband paired with a mobile app that tracks the wearer’s movement, sleep, and food. UP is designed to be worn 24/7, and all the data is available online so users can monitor their activity over time. 

In a move that fits with the company’s foray into health and fitness, Jawbone announced it will acquire two companies: Visere, www.visere.com, a digital design firm focused on creating hardware and software experiences, and Massive Health, www.massivehealth.com, a company that created The Eatery, an app that keeps track of what people eat. 

Both of these companies are involved in creating consumer-friendly apps. The acquisitions position Jawbone to focus even more on enhancing UP and perhaps on creating new products.

Jawbone unveiled UP in November 2011, but just about a month later the company released a statement saying some users were having issues with the wristband. Users could receive a no questions asked refund, even if they decided to keep the band. Jawbone also halted production of the device, and it was nearly a year later, in November 2012, that a new version of UP hit the market. 

The new version underwent nearly 3 million hours of real-world testing, according to the company, and it added new features such as food tracking. It will be interesting to see the direction Jawbone takes regarding health and fitness devices following the acquisitions. Perhaps the company will launch more products in this category, or perhaps it will continue to refine UP. Either way, people are interested in tracking their physical condition, something Jawbone sees as a market with potential. 

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