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The fitness tracker industry has become incredibly competitive and crowded. Most people know about the Nike FuelBand and the Fitbit family of products, for example, making it harder for companies like Jawbone to stay competitive working on both the software and the hardware side of things. To ease some of that pressure, the Jawbone Up platform has now been opened up to third-party manufacturers and the first device to take advantage of this newfound openness is the Huawei TalkBand B2.

Now, this isn't a brand new product. The Huawei TalkBand B2 was actually announced back in February at Mobile World Congress. What makes it particularly unique is that it functions not only as a fitness and sleep tracker when housed inside its wristband, but it can be removed to function as a proper Bluetooth headset. That's nifty and it almost makes a lot of sense. The other main feature is its touchscreen OLED display for showing information like the time and your step count.

"Up" until now (terrible pun intended), the Huawei TalkBand B2 was designed to work with the company's own smartphone app. Starting today, users have the option of using the Jawbone UP app for iOS and Android instead, tapping into all the fitness coaching and other features that the app provides. This makes the TalkBand B2 the first non-Jawbone product to be compatible with the app and it likely will not be the last to do so. Maybe the follow-up to the incredibly affordable Xiaomi Mi Band will do this too.

We don't anticipate the imminent end to the Jawbone Up family of fitness tracking hardware, but this move and partnership signals that Jawbone wants to focus more on the software while simultaneously tapping into royalties and licensing money from other hardware companies. Sounds a little like BlackBerry, wouldn't you say?


Source: The Verge

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