Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

And You Thought Jawbone UP Was Going to Miss the CES Party!

Despite the fact that the Jawbone UP is on pause, the company was still displaying its health-and-fitness wristband at a trade event at CES Monday night.

Featured alongside Jawbone’s signature Jambox speaker, the problem-plagued band was looking as (Live)strong as ever.

We’re told an update is coming to the UP wristband — but it’s not the one we’re waiting on, at least not yet. The company is planning on pushing out a new version of the UP iPhone app in the coming weeks, based on feedback it’s getting from a group of UP testers.

Last Saturday, the company launched the Jawbone UP Testers program, and plans to send participants free hardware — including UP wristbands — from time to time for user testing and feedback. The program isn’t open to the public; users had to have received an email from Jawbone in order to participate. Participants are required to sign a confidentiality agreement that is binding for two years. And all of the tester feedback has to be shared through designated tester channels, so that means no tweeting, blogging or talking to people in the media (like me).

It’s good to see Jawbone taking even further action to remedy the Jawbone UP, which got off to a great start but quickly became the subject of user complaints.

Asked when Jawbone would issue the UP update, Travis Bogard, Jawbone’s vice president of product management and strategy, said, “We’re still in the same place as before.”

Bogard reiterated Jawbone’s commitment to the UP wristband, and said it has been the company’s best-selling product. He declined to say how many testers were in the group so far, or to specify which complaints would be addressed by the expected app update.

Bogard also said that Jawbone wasn’t concerned about other health-and-fitness gadgets being shown off at the big show in Las Vegas this week, saying that wearable fitness is a new category, and that Jawbone doesn’t see other products being as wearable as the UP. “The point is really to wear these things all the time to get the maximum benefit,” he said. “If other products aren’t as wearable, they just won’t work as well.”

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus