Jawbone's activity-tracking wristbands to accept data from rivals

Hosain Rahman, co-founder and chief executive of Jawbone, speaks at the wearable computing panel during Reuters Global Technology Summit in San Francisco, June 17, 2013.
PHOTO: Jawbone's activity-tracking wristbands to accept data from rivals

SAN FRANCISCO - Jawbone said on Monday it is opening its software to other device-makers in hopes of accelerating sales of its activity-tracking wristbands, in a move that comes a day before Apple Inc is expected to unveil a smartwatch of its own.

Jawbone said its software, called UP, can now incorporate health and fitness data from any gadget, whether it be an Apple iPhone, Fitbit, or Google Android Wear device.

It will also pull in data from Apple's anticipated wearable device, dubbed the iWatch by the press. A Jawbone user who neglects to wear the band for a night, for instance, can pull sleep data from an iPhone or Android smartphone.

Jawbone's UP can be used to track workout activity, sleep patterns, and food and drink consumption.

Jawbone hopes to "lead people to the Jawbone hardware" by taking a more open approach, company spokesman Jim Godfrey said.

He stressed that Jawbone was not planning to shutter its wearable hardware efforts, unlike Nike Inc, and hinted at sensor advancements in coming months.

Many industry executives are banking on an Apple wearable device dominating the nascent but fertile wearables market, despite efforts by Intel, Samsung, Fitbit and dozens of startups to popularise wearable devices that can track sleep and count steps, among other things.

Godfrey said the wearables market will ultimately be large enough to include products in multiple categories, including fitness trackers and smartwatches.

The company in February announced it would raise US$250 million (S$314 million). It is still in the process of raising its final US$100 million, Godfrey added.