Jawbone buys gadget maker for 'Biggest Loser'

Apr 30, 2013 by Glenn Chapman
People in a spinning class on April 29, 2010 in New York. Fitness wristband maker Jawbone added muscle to its lineup of fitness lifestyle devices Tuesday with a deal to buy the company behind armbands that measure how many calories people are burning.

Fitness wristband maker Jawbone added muscle to its lineup of fitness lifestyle devices Tuesday with a deal to buy the company behind armbands that measure how many calories people are burning.

Jawbone did not disclose financial terms of its deal to purchase BodyMedia, which makes armbands used to track performance of fat-shedding competitors on US reality television show "The Biggest Loser."

The two companies have a combined "three decades worth of deep technology and intellectual property" around sophisticated body sensors and hundreds of patents focused on wearable technology, according to Jawbone.

"There's an enormous appetite for personal data and self-discovery among consumers that will only continue to grow," said Jawbone chief executive and founder Hosain Rahman.

"We look forward to pushing new boundaries, creating new markets, and showing people what's truly possible with wearable computing."

The San Francisco-based company behind "smart" wireless earpieces and speakers late last year released redesigned its UP wristbands that combine fashion with smartphone lifestyles to help people along paths to improved fitness.

UP wristbands are priced at $129 in the United States. UP applications tailored for Apple or Android mobile devices collect data from the bands to let people more easily get pictures of activity, sleep, eating, and even their moods on any given day or over time.

The wristbands track users' level of activity, whether they are exercising, pacing in an office, or snoozing in bed.

BodyMedia, founded in the Pennsylvania city of Pittsburgh about 14 years ago, is considered a pioneering in combining sensors in with machine learning.

BodyMedia armbands track activities of wearers, including how intensely they work out, and calculate how many calories are burned. Sleep and eating information is also gathered.

The BodyMedia platform boasts being registered with the US as a proven device for enhancing weight loss.

By combining forces, "we can make an even bigger impact on people's health and help them achieve their goals," said BodyMedia chief executive Christine Robins.

BodyMedia operations will remain in Pittsburgh but the employees will become part of the Jawbone team, according to Jawbone vice president of strategy Travis Bogard.

"We always talked about wireless headsets as wearable computers," Bogard said.

"This is exactly the long term vision we have had. We are expanding what is possible with sensors and computing going on the body."

Jawbone announced an UP platform that software developers can build on to make applications that work with the wristbands on iPhones, iPads, or iPod touch devices.

Applications ready at launch included RunKeeper and MapMyFitness for logging runs or bicycle rides, including routes, and synching information with UP software on Apple gadgets.

Explore further: Birch Communications buying Cbeyond for $323M

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Jawbone adds muscle for fitness push

Feb 05, 2013

UP fitness wristband maker Jawbone on Monday announced the acquisition of a pair of young mobile app firms that add muscle to its push make smartphone lifestyles healthier.

Flaw makes Jawbone UP wristbands go down

Dec 09, 2011

US wireless earpiece maker Jawbone on Thursday apologized for a flaw that causes its fitness focused UP wristbands to go down and offered users their money back even if they keep the gadgets.

Jawbone "Up" fitness wristbands get in shape

Nov 13, 2012

Wireless earpiece maker Jawbone on Tuesday released redesigned UP wristbands that combine fashion with smartphone lifestyles to help people along paths to improved fitness.

Recommended for you

TCS, Mitsubishi to create new Japan IT services firm

3 hours ago

India's biggest outsourcing firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Japan's Mitsubishi Corp said Monday they are teaming up to create a Japanese software services provider with annual revenues of $600 million.

Chinese tech giant Alibaba set to make a splash with US IPO

19 hours ago

The largest tech IPO of the year will come from a company that many Americans have never heard of. Alibaba Group - a Chinese e-commerce behemoth - has decided to go public in the U.S. after months of speculation that it would ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Apr 19, 2014

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Students take clot-buster for a spin

(Phys.org) —In the hands of some Rice University senior engineering students, a fishing rod is more than what it seems. For them, it's a way to help destroy blood clots that threaten lives.

First steps towards "Experimental Literature 2.0"

As part of a student's thesis, the Laboratory of Digital Humanities at EPFL has developed an application that aims at rearranging literary works by changing their chapter order. "The human simulation" a saga ...