I've been thinking a lot lately about wearable devices, especially after the announcement of the Apple Watch.
My biggest concern with wearables is the element of distraction. What happens when a device with potential to be incredibly distracting is not just in your pocket, but strapped to your wrist? Can devices like Google Glass augment our activities without distracting us from the physical world?
I'm a fan of "uni-tasking" and I know for sure that the fact that people can multi-task without any loss in the quality of their work is simply a great myth.
Right now the "wearable" trend is happening simply because it can be done.
For me gadgets like the Apple Watch, Google Glass need to be artifacts that can enhance human abilities. I am fully dependent upon modern technologies, because they make me more productive, not less.
For this reason I wanted to start researching the world of wearable devices with something simple. A fitness band.
I spent a good amount of time reading reviews regarding what would be my next purchase, and I ended up buying the Jawbone Up24.
The reason of this purchase was done for the following reasons:
- No distracting screen
- Sleep tracking * Smart Alarm
- Longer battery life
- API that can be used with third party applications and services
After a week of using the device I'm still cognizant that I'm wearing it, this causing me to slightly change my usual behavior. For instance I try to go to sleep earlier, or eat healthier. But checking the app only twice a day reveals that, given my concerns on distraction, I made a great purchase.
However I felt that more could be done with this device.
Jawbone Up24 and The Internet of Things
Besides tracking my sleep and activity the Jawbone Up can also act as a catalyst for all kinds of actions. The API support third-party apps including IFTTT https://ifttt.com/jawbone_up (If This, Then That), which lets you use the Web to automate responses to certain triggers.
A couple of useful actions that I trigger daily are:
- Turn off the lights in my house when I go to bed (Philips Hue)
- Slowly turn the bedside table light on as an alarm clock with a natural looking light
- Turn on the coffee machine when I wake up
- When I go to sleep Turn down the House temperature (Nest)
Prevent UP24 to drain your iPhone Battery Life
Even if the Up24 uses Bluetooth Low Energy radio technology, for some reason, it appears that the app currently suffers from a bug that drains rapidly the iPhone battery. The reasons for this bug resides in the App and the devices communicating every 20 seconds. To avoid this all you need to do is simply "kill" the app by double tapping on the home button and swiping up on the application. Don't worry the device will keep on working perfectly by simply syncing to the app only when it get's opened.
The UP24 is packed with handy features to make it one of the best in the business, the integration with third party services makes it even more fun to use and to experiment with, without distracting you.