Jawbone has been known for all kinds of wearables before the term wearables was really a popularized category for smart technology, but their offerings were in the form of Bluetooth headsets for hands-free calling back then. Since that time and over the last couple of years they have released a range of different wearable fitness trackers and activity trackers, and their latest, the UP3, is due to ship towards the end of this month. The UP3 is about to be surpassed however, as Jawbone has just announced this morning in partnership with American Express, the UP4 activity tracker that comes complete with mobile payments embedded in the band so you can pay for things with your wrist without having to use a smartwatch.
The Jawbone UP4 was rumored to be in the works a couple of days ago and is expected to be available sometime this Summer, and although Jawbone has opted to keep the design pretty much the same from the UP3 to the UP4, they have improved a few things to make it even better. It features “advanced sleep and activity tracking and heart health monitoring” for those that want it, and all of it interfaces with the UP app on your smartphone. As one would have guessed, the contactless mobile payments are handled through the embedded NFC chip, which Jawbone states is an industry first for activity trackers on the market.
Just like other mobile payment options, such as Google Wallet for example, users will simply have to enter a payment card into the UP app under the payments section and save the data. From then on paying is as simple as tapping the band to POS checkout machines that are compatible with NFC payments technology. Perhaps the only unfortunate thing is that the mobile payments will only accept AMEX cards, which many users won’t have. Other than the mobile payments and NFC tech, it appears the UP4 is much like the UP3, and likely doesn’t carry the waterproof functionality that the UP3 was originally intended to have. The cost of the UP4 and the exact release date are also unclear at this time, but Summer is only a couple of months away officially, so those details are likely not too far off.