Another new fitness band has hit the market, and this one explicitly hypes its ability to provide feedback about sleep patterns. The technology wrap-up featuring the Jawbone Up3 states “Jawbone has a new wristband that uses a relatively unusual technique to provide feedback about sleep patterns”. “The Up3 measures the wearer’s heart rate via metal-covered sensors that protrude from its underside to press against the skin. This contrasts with the approach of rivals that combine infrared and visible-light LEDs with photosensors, which are more battery-intensive.”
Also dubbed “smart watches,” these wrist bands have long tracked blood pressure and heart rate, and now the Up3 follows this trend using a technique called bioimpedance to track its owner’s pulse. “This involves passing an imperceptible electrical current through the body to measure its resistance to the effect,” writes Kelion. “The process is already used by several specialist medical devices to measure heart rate, body fat, fluid levels and other body composition readings, and has featured in a few consumer devices such as Fitbit’s Aria weight scales.”
Jawbone is reportedly pioneering its use in a mass-market wristband following the firm’s takeover of Bodymedia, a Pennsylvania-based company that had been carrying out research into the technology.
“Because bioimpedance requires significantly less power compared to optical sensors for the same level of accuracy, we can deliver a smaller form factor and longer battery life,” said Jawbone of the innovation.
According to recent story on BBC News, the Up3 will take heart rate readings when the owner wakes up to track changes
Initially, the sensors will be able to accurately measure the Up3 owner’s heart rate only while they are resting and just after they wake up, “but the company intends to extend their use with a software update to other times of the day.”