Jawbone, a privately-held company based in San Francisco with a $1.5 billion valuation, today announced the relaunch of its UP wristband, which it discontinued one year ago due to manufacturing problems. (An excellent article in Fortune from October details the "beautiful failure" of the product and CEO Hosain Rahman's decision to cease manufacturing and refund customers' money.) There's a lot to like about this company and its products. Jawbone is one of few companies that has successfully innovated the adjacent possible, as my colleague James McQuivey has written, pivoting from Bluetooth headsets to Jambox speakers to the UP. The UP is a wearable device that lives (on the wrist) at the intersection of fashion and the consumerization of health. The UP is part of an emerging phenomenon that we call Smart Body, Smart World, which we think will power the next wave of growth and innovation in personal computing.
Wearable devices, or “wearables” for short, have enormous potential for uses in health and fitness, navigation, social networking, commerce, and media. Imagine video games that happen in real space. Or glasses that remind you of your colleague’s name that you really should know. Or paying for a coffee at Starbucks with your watch instead of your phone. Wearables will transform our lives in numerous ways, trivial and substantial, that we are just starting to imagine.
In a new Forrester report out today, we argue that wearables will move mainstream once they get serious investment from the “big five” platforms — Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook — and their developer communities, and we give advice to product strategists who want to stay ahead of the wearables curve. Key takeaways: