More Trackers, More Problems (For Employers)

November 12, 2014

Two weeks ago, we blogged about Fitbit’s three new activity trackers and what that means for corporate wellness programs.  In the competitive world of wearable devices, we shouldn’t be surprised about the recent product releases from Jawbone, Basis, and Microsoft.  These additional options for consumers further validate Wellable’s bring your own device (BYOD) philosophy.  A quote from our Fitbit blog post explains why (just replace Fitbit with any wearable you may like).

“If an employer wants to provide an activity tracker to their employees, which one should they choose?  This question becomes increasingly more difficult to answer as the wearable market matures and new generations of devices emerge.  Instead of attempting to answer this question for their employees, employers should empower their employees to choose for themselves.  As much as we love Fitbit and are excited about their new products, we realize that employees are people, and people have preferences.  These preferences make Fitbit not the best choice for everyone.  Some people like Jawbone UP and others prefer mobile apps.  A well-structured wellness program allows employees to connect with the technologies that make the most sense for them.”

Just in case you are in the market for a new device, we thought would give you some high level features of these upcoming products.

Jawbone launched its UP3 and UP Move activity trackers.  The UP3 will serve as its new flagship product and, in addition to the features of the UP24, will include bioimpedance sensors, which can track heart rate, respiration, and perspiration, as well as sensors to track skin and ambient temperatures.  The UP Move is Jawbone’s alternative for a low cost tracker.  At $49.99, the UP Move will compete with the likes of Misfit and Fitbit’s low cost trackers.

The Basis Peak is Basis’s second product release this year, and the product is a smart watch with activity tracking features.   The device is designed to be more comfortable than its predecessor and can measure steps, calories burned, heart rate, perspiration, and skin temperature.

The unnamed Microsoft band is a smart watch that will passively track a wearer’s heart rate and work across different mobile platforms (iPhones, Android, and Windows Phone devices) and boasts a battery life of two days.  The activity tracker will measure steps, heart rate, calories burned, and other key health attributes along with its smart watch features.

More wearable device trackers are great for the consumer wellness market, but if not approached with a BYOD strategy, more devices will just lead to more problems for employers.  Check out our white paper on BYOD Wellness for more information on why employers should not buy, distribute, and manage corporate pedometers for their customers.

Topics: Mobile Wellness

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