The story of Jawbone has been nothing short of tumultuous.
The headset-turned-bluetooth speaker-turned-consumer wearable startup has unsurprisingly taken another turn. According to a recent report by TechCruch, the San Francisco-based company is pivoting away from their consumer wearable devices, the Jawbone UP line, to direct their efforts to the clinical wearable space.
This comes as more industry-altering news for the wearable market and, as most wearable news normally does, hints at a number of macro trends affecting the industry.
For starters, Jawbone and Fitbit have been afflicted by similar consumer preferences, with Fitbit narrowly edging out their competitor. Both companies have fallen victim to severe devaluations, with Jawbone’s raising funds at half of their peak valuation and Fitbit losing over 60% of their market cap. Also noteworthy, is that the two have been tied up in multiple legal feuds for years—but that is neither here nor there.
What we can draw from the two companies’ underwhelming growth is that consumer wearables, as they stand currently, are not in demand the way analysts initially anticipated.
The important phrase to notice there is as they stand currently. The demand for consumers wearables has not lived up to expectations because the benefits of those same devices have not fulfilled their promise. Fitness tracking data and health insights simply don’t provide the benefits to consumers that warrant their demand.
Jawbone’s pivot to clinical wearables lends itself to an interesting point: wearables are capable of being more functional and provide more value. The idea of the quantified self is closest to being realized with clinical grade sensors, where tracking biometric measurements like HRV and oxygen saturation is done with acute attention to accuracy.
We believe this pivot makes a compelling case for Biostrap’s value proposition. We are creating a wearable device with all the benefits of the devices previously-reserved for the medical community—only for everyone.
Despite the twisted narrative the wearable industry has managed to craft over the last 18 months, the best of wearables has yet to come. We’re excited to be playing a role in the future of wearable tech and unlocking total health.