UP fitness wristbands get in stride with Android gadgets

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SAN FRANCISCO—UP fitness wristbands got in stride with Android late Tuesday, keeping in step with the popularity of smartphones powered by the free Google software.

The move to take UP beyond Apple mobile devices came as the San Francisco-based company announced the release of the wristbands in Europe and plans to expand to Asia, Australia and the Middle East next month.

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

New UP wristbands debuted in the United States with a $129 price tag nearly a year after original models were pulled from the market due to problems caused by moisture fouling up electronics in the “wearable computers.”

UP launched with applications for iPhones and iPod touch devices were redesigned to let people more easily get pictures of activity, sleep, eating, and even their moods on any given day or over time.

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

“Everyone wants to improve upon themselves; we’ve found this to be a fundamental human desire, no matter where a person is starting from or what they want to achieve,” said Jawbone vice president of strategy Travis Bogard.

“Today marks a big step toward our commitment to help people establish a basis for behavior change.”

Along with releasing an UP application for Android gadgets at the Google Play online shop, Jawbone added 11 languages to the interface for the ‘app’ for Apple devices, according to Bogard.

An overview of billions of steps and millions of hours of sleep logged by UP wearers so far showed that they tended to slumber longest on weekends and walk most on Fridays.

UP was built on the premise that most people want to improve their fitness and could benefit from encouragement along with detailed feedback about their habits.

“Despite wanting to be better there is this big gap between intention and action,” Bogard said.

“This is really about that personal journey; helping people understand themselves and the decisions they make.”

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