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Jawbone snaps up BodyMedia and opens up API

The company beefs up its wearable health monitoring business with a key acquisition

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
April 30, 2013 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2f28

Counting calories is for schmucks. Why count calories when you can wear a sensor that does it for you? And that old prehistoric method of manually entering your consumed calories into your favorite health and fitness apps—those days are gone! Sensors are where it’s at. And one of the major players in the sensor-based health monitoring industry—Jawbone—made two big announcements Tuesday. The company announced its plans to acquire armband sensor-maker BodyMedia, and it’s opening up its API so others can integrate with Jawbone.

The acquisition of BodyMedia comes just two months after Jawbone’s acquisition of Massive Health. BodyMedia has spent the last 14 years making crucial inroads into the world of wearable health monitoring technology. The company has the only technology platform that is registered with the FDA as a Class II medical device that is clinically proven to help with weight loss.

Like Jawbone’s UP bracelet, BodyMedia’s armband monitors everything from fitness to sleep cycles. The armband includes an accelerometer to track motion and steps taken, as well as sensors that monitor skin temperature, galvanic skin response (sweat), and the heat that’s produced by your muscles.

BodyMedia has amassed a huge database of information about the human body, and its data and technology have been used in over 100 clinical research studies on health issues like obesity, cancer, cystic fibrosis, and more.

The financial terms of the deal were not released. BodyMedia raised a $12 million round of funding last May led by Comcast Ventures.

 “Together, BodyMedia and Jawbone have almost three decades worth of deep tech, science and intellectual property around sophisticated sensors on the body, and nearly 300 issued and pending patents around wearable technology. We look forward to pushing new boundaries, creating new markets, and showing people what’s truly possible with wearable computing,” said Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman in a statement.

In addition to the acquisition of BodyMedia, Jawbone also announced that it has opened up its API and teamed up with several apps so that users can easily integrate their workouts with Jawbone. Apps include MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness, Wello, RunKeeper, Sleepio, IFTTT, LoseIt!, Maxwell Health, Notch, and Withings. For example: users can log a run or bike ride with MapMyFitness or RunKeeper and integrate your data with Jawbone’s UP to see how things like diet and sleep may have impacted your speed and distance.  

Marissa Mayer recently joined Jawbone's board, which means Jawbone is obviously going places. 


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