Jawbone has launched a new design for the UP2 as well as 10 additional colours for the UP2 and UP3.
In addition, Jawbone released a range of new features for UP2 and UP3 that improve product functionality and reliability through a free over-the-air firmware update.
“We’re excited to expand the design platform for UP2 and UP3 with a sleek new strap for UP2 and 10 eye-catching colours, making our lineup of UP® products even more versatile and jewellery-like.” said Travis Bogard, vice president of product management and strategy at Jawbone. “We’ve combined our intelligent app – recently voted best fitness app for iOS and Android – with beautiful design and premium materials to create the ultimate fashion accessory for those who want to live better in style.”
Live Better in Style
Activity tracking has never looked so good with Jawbone’s new collection of designs and colours. Crafted by leading industrial designer Yves Behar, Jawbone’s new UP activity trackers feature slim and stylish designs that allow for 24/7 wear and can be easily accessorised with jewellery or watches on the wrist.
UP2, previously only offered in Black Diamond and Light Grey Hex with classic flat straps, is now available in 6 stunning new colours, 5 of which feature an all-new design with two lightweight thin straps – giving the slim tracker an even more fashionable and unique look and feel. The selection of new colours for UP2 include Turquoise Circle, Oat Spectrum, Gunmetal Hex, Orchid Circle and Black Diamond with the new lightweight thin straps, along with Violet Circle with the classic flat strap.
UP3, Jawbone’s advanced multi-sensor tracker, is now available in 4 additional colours, including Indigo Twist, Ruby Cross, Sand Twist and Teal Cross, in addition to the previously available colours, Black Twist and Silver Cross.
Feature Updates for UP2 and UP3
A free over-the-air firmware update through the UP App has been recently released to UP2 and UP3 users, enabling new features including Automatic Sleep Detection and Passive Heart Rate monitoring.
With this new update, UP2 and UP3 users no longer need to tap the band to enter and exit sleep mode. The UP band now automatically detects when the user has fallen asleep at night and when they wake up in the morning. The system will continue to recognise and track detailed sleep stages, with UP3 still capturing REM, Light and Deep sleep.
The feature update also adds Passive Heart Rate tracking to Jawbone’s multi-sensor tracker, UP3, which previously only measured Resting Heart Rate and heart rate throughout the night. While Resting Heart Rate is one of the best indicators of overall heart health, the addition of Passive Heart Rate throughout the day gives users a more complete picture of their heart health.
Passive Heart Rate is taken periodically throughout the day when the user is still, and provides unique insight into how daily influences and choices such as diet, caffeine, stressful meetings, and other stimuli can affect heart rate and overall heart health. As UP captures a user’s Passive Heart Rate over time, Smart Coach will have a more complete picture of the user’s overall health and patterns, providing more tailored and customised advice based on the user’s baseline heart rate measurements.
These new features were extensively tested in an open beta trial over the past month and have been widely welcomed by the UP community as a significant enhancement to the overall user experience.
Smart home arrives in SA
The smart home is no longer a distant vision confined to advanced economies, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.
The smart home is a wonderful vision for controlling every aspect of one’s living environment via remote control, apps and sensors. But, because it is both complex and expensive, there has been little appetite for it in South Africa.
The two main routes for smart home installation are both fraught with peril – financial and technical.
The first is to call on a specialist installation company. Surprisingly, there are many in South Africa. Google “smart home” +”South Africa”, and thousands of results appear. The problem is that, because the industry is so new, few have built up solid track records and reputations. Costs vary wildly, few standards exist, and the cost of after-sales service will turn out to be more important than the upfront price.
The second route is to assemble the components of a smart home, and attempt self-installation. For the non-technical, this is often a non-starter. Not only does one need a fairly good knowledge of Wi-Fi configuration, but also a broad understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) – the ability for devices to sense their environment, connect to each other, and share information.
The good news, though, is that it is getting easier and more cost effective all the time.
My first efforts in this direction started a few years ago with finding smart plugs on Amazon.com. These are power adaptors that turn regular sockets into “smart sockets” by adding Wi-Fi and an on-off switch, among other. A smart lightbulb was sourced from Gearbest in China. At the time, these were the cheapest and most basic elements for a starter smart home environment.
Via a smartphone app, the light could be switched on from the other side of the world. It sounds trivial and silly, but on such basic functions the future is slowly built.
Fast forward a year or two, and these components are available from hundreds of outlets, they have plummeted in cost, and the range of options is bewildering. That, of course, makes the quest even more bewildering. Who can be trusted for quality, fulfilment and after-sales support? Which products will be obsolete in the next year or two as technology advances even more rapidly?
These are some of the challenges that a leading South African technology distributor, Syntech, decided to address in adding smart home products to its portfolio. It selected LifeSmart, a global brand with proven expertise in both IoT and smart home products.
Equally significantly, LifeSmart combines IoT with artificial intelligence and machine learning, meaning that the devices “learn” the best ways of connecting, sharing and integrating new elements. Because they all fall under the same brand, they are designed to integrate with the LifeSmart app, which is available for Android and iOS phones, as well as Android TV.
Click here to read about how LifeSmart makes installing smart home devices easier.
Matrics must prepare for AI
By Vian Chinner, CEO and founder of Xineoh.
Many in the matric class of 2018 are currently weighing up their options for the future. With the country’s high unemployment rate casting a shadow on their opportunities, these future jobseekers have been encouraged to look into which skills are required by the market, tailoring their occupational training to align with demand and thereby improving their chances of finding a job, writes Vian Chinner – a South African innovator, data scientist and CEO of the machine learning company specialising in consumer behaviour prediction, Xineoh.
With rapid innovation and development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), all careers – including high-demand professions like engineers, teachers and electricians – will look significantly different in the years to come.
Notably, the third wave of internet connectivity, whereby our physical world begins to merge with that of the internet, is upon us. This is evident in how widespread AI is being implemented across industries as well as in our homes with the use of automation solutions and bots like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. So much data is collected from the physical world every day and AI makes sense of it all.
Not only do new industries related to technology like AI open new career paths, such as those specialising in data science, but it will also modify those which already exist.
So, what should matriculants be considering when deciding what route to take?
For highly academic individuals, who are exceptionally strong in mathematics, data science is definitely the way to go. There is, and will continue to be, massive demand internationally as well as locally, with Element-AI noting that there are only between 0 and 100 data scientists in South Africa, with the true number being closer to 0.
In terms of getting a foot in the door to become a successful data scientist, practical experience, working with an AI-focused business, is essential. Students should consider getting an internship while they are studying or going straight into an internship, learning on the job and taking specialist online courses from institutions like Stanford University and MIT as they go.
This career path is, however, limited to the highly academic and mathematically gifted, but the technology is inevitably going to overlap with all other professions and so, those who are looking to begin their careers should take note of which skills will be in demand in future, versus which will be made redundant by AI.
In the next few years, technicians who are able to install and maintain new technology will be highly sought after. On the other hand, many entry level jobs will likely be taken care of by AI – from the slicing and dicing currently done by assistant chefs, to the laying of bricks by labourers in the building sector.
As a rule, students should be looking at the skills required for the job one step up from an entry level position and working towards developing these. Those training to be journalists, for instance, should work towards the skill level of an editor and a bookkeeping trainee, the role of financial consultant.
This also means that new workforce entrants should be prepared to walk into a more demanding role, with more responsibility, than perhaps previously anticipated and that the country’s education and training system should adapt to the shift in required skills.
The matric classes of 2018 have completed their schooling in the information age and we should be equipping them, and future generations, for the future market – AI is central to this.