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Wearable Tech Up 'N Up in OZ: Jawbone

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 10/04/2013

Exclusive: Australia wants to get UP, says Jawbone exec, as demand for wearable tech wakes up.

And "its just the beginning," Jawbone's Jorgen Nordin told SmartHouse as wearable tech looks set to be the latest craze among consumers.

Jawbone Head of Channel and Partner Development EMEA, Jorgen Nordin, was recently in Australia for the launch of its "revolutionary wristband" called UP, which promises to stop you being a lazy slob by alerting you when you've been stationary for a period of time, monitor sleep patterns, diet, mood.

Hailed as the smart watch that helps you learn things about yourself "that you never knew" with an accompanying app is hitting a slew of retailers including Apple Stores, JB Hi Fi and Telstra on April 20 for RRP $149.

Although a relatively new category, Aussies are all about getting UP, says Nordin.

"We've seen a lot of anticipation and excitement for UP from the Australian community, and our Australian retail partners Apple, Telstra, and Optus have been eager to bring UP to their customers.

"There's a lot of demand and interest in the wearables category right now."

"Devices that connect to smartphones and "app-accessories" are gaining in popularity and are likely to capture the imagination of consumers in 2013," says Telsyte analyst Foad Fadaghi.

Apple are widely believed to be working on a iWatch, while Samsung already confirmed it too will join the smartwatch race this year, although accessories company Jawbone seem to have got ahead of the posse.

It's also interesting that Samsung are spruiking its new S4 smartphone as a "life companion" with health tracking tools, language translators and other handy stuff - not simply a machine you can make a phone call or surf the Net on.

However, as wearable computers play in the fashion as well as technology market - like Google Glass, "some challenges do arise, as not everyone likes to wear watches or glasses," says Fadaghi.

Jawbone recently expanded the demand for UP by introducing support for Android - the most popular mobile platform, 11 new languages for Apple iOS, and increased availability to more than 25 countries, including Oz.

"Of all the people we've spoken with we've found that there's not a single person who doesn't want to improve upon themselves and be better at achieving their goals," says Jawbone's Head of Channel and Partner Development.

"The convergence of technology - tiny wearable sensors, smartphones and data in the cloud - has allowed us to create an effective new tool to help people better understand their lifestyle choices.

"We think this is just the beginning of what's possible."

One in four respondents indicated that they were interested in the concept of wearable technology, in a recent consumer survey conducted by local analysts Telsyte.

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