We begin designing the product experience at Jawbone by asking the question, “What everyday problem can we solve for people?”... >>
We begin designing the product experience at Jawbone by asking the question, “What everyday problem can we solve for people?”
We created UP to help people know more about themselves and, ultimately, live better. In doing so, we were challenged with creating a true ‘lifestyle’ product – one that was wearable day and night, throughout all aspects of our lives. Jawbone’s history is steeped in wearable technology and design, yet the task of creating a product that could be worn 24/7 has been the most demanding design challenge in my experience so far. How could we wrap a sophisticated computer around the wrist?
The answer lies at the intersection of miniaturized technology, engineering prowess, and functional, beautiful design.
First, we chose the wrist for its convenience and familiarity. People already wear objects like bracelets and watches on that part of their bodies, so by engineering incredibly small technology, we’re able to add a great deal of functionality there.
Our expertise in sensors and miniaturization allows us to pack the wristband with technical complexity – a processing core, battery, vibration motor, sensors and memory. The most space efficient layout requires distributing the components around the wrist for a balanced weight and low profile, yet we needed to do that in such a way that it was still structurally robust enough to survive the traumas of 24/7 wear.
During design development, a key criterion was that UP felt natural on the body. We’ve given it a bendable, adjustable spring steel inner-core to retain its original shape while adapting to the unique curvature of each user’s wrist. Its flexible, open-ended form makes it effortless to take on and off, allowing it to seamlessly integrate into everyday life.
Inside, we sealed the band’s inner components with a heavy-duty conformal coating to fortify the technology. This layer also helps to create a bonded seal with the band’s exterior for superior water resistance.
To achieve the band’s smooth surface, we designed a custom injection-molding process to coat the entire inner structure with hypoallergenic, medical-grade TPU rubber. This material is both soft and strong. We choose it for its outstanding bonding properties and to reduce interference with clothing and feel exceptionally smooth on the skin.
We paid particular attention to the subtle relief on the outer surface, which transforms the rubber exterior into a visual and tactile skin, embodying Jawbone-branded design. Seven different colors offer a variety of expressive styles, because in order to get people to wear it, it has to look great.
So, it was with thoughtful consideration for each element of wearable design – comfort, durability, subtlety, proportion, visual appeal, water resistance and 24/7 wear – that we were able to create our most personal ‘lifestyle’ product yet. It lives on your wrist and fits the way you live, so you can begin to close the gap between where you want to be, and where you’re starting from.<<