Wearable Tech World Feature Article
February 06, 2013

Jawbone Acquires Two Companies to Further Healthcare App Development

Wearable technology, while not brand new, is certainly becoming a mainstream force, as the plethora of new devices on the market will attest. In fact, a new study from IMS Research on the world market for wearable technology found that 14 million wearable devices were shipped in 2011; by 2016, the market will present a minimum revenue opportunity of $6 billion. Juniper Research estimated that there will be a total of almost 70 million smart wearable devices sold in 2017. Keep in mind that these figures aren’t just about the devices themselves, but the apps that drive them.

While more column inches are written about fun and futuristic wearable devices such as Google Glasses, or the shirt that detects Wi-Fi signals for you, most of the applications for wearable technology are in the healthcare and fitness industries in the form of biomonitors, and these devices still hold the lion’s share of wearable computing devices. This can be evidenced by the pace at which acquisitions for wearable monitors and their apps is proceeding.

San Francisco-based smart audio device company Jawbone is the latest to pick up some healthy lifestyle apps. The first is San Francisco-based startup Massive Health, creator of the crowdsourced food app The Eatery. The other acquisition is Portland, Oregon-based Visere, a design house that creates both hardware and software, UpStart Business Journal is reporting this week.

Jawbone’s most talked-about product is its UP wrist band, a biomonitoring bracelet that tracks the wearer’s movement and idle time, offering reminders to move if the wearer has been idle too long, and includes an alarm that will wake the wearer after an optimum amount of sleep (or for a 26.5 minute power nap, considered the perfect nap length). The UP wrist band works in conjunction with an iOS app, though the company claims an Android (News - Alert) version is forthcoming. 

From the sounds of the press release issued by Jawbone, the two acquisitions were so-called “acqui-hires,” company purchases with a primary goal to recruit new talent.

 “We’re thrilled to add this world class talent to Jawbone. Bringing in great minds from both Massive Health and Visere will help us to develop software that’s both simple and beautiful and build the very best integrated hardware, software, and data platforms in the world,” said Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman in a statement. “Both companies have shown a deep understanding of the intricacies of designing engaging products and experiences, and we’re eager to continue to harness talent of that caliber here at Jawbone.”

Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

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