Gamifying Fitness: Jawbone Duels
US-based tech company Jawbone is releasing a new Duels feature for its fitness-tracking app, which enables users to compete against teammates in step challenges, using competition to encourage positive fitness behaviour.
Set to launch mid-June, the feature is an update to Jawbone's lifestyle-tracking platform Up, which works with Jawbone's Up fitness-monitoring bands and other compatible smart devices. Users will be able to invite each other to compete in a "step challenge" lasting 24 hours, three days or seven days at a time. Users will be able to monitor their competition progress in real time, and receive prompts to move more if a fellow competitor overtakes them.
The feature builds on the Up platform's 'teammates' function, which allows users to share their activity data with others on the app. Jawbone's data science team found that users with more teammates on the platform tend to be healthier, as Jason Donahue, Jawbone project manager for data and insights, told Stylus.
Up users with three or more teammates take 1,000 more steps per day than those with fewer connections. Meanwhile, users who receive personalised nudges are more likely to adjust their lifestyle – users are 73% more likely to hit their sleep goal if they opt in to receiving targeted advice.
Donahue was speaking to Stylus ahead of the launch of Jawbone's latest wearable, the Up2, which was released globally yesterday (June 2) priced at $99.99 (£89.99). The new wristband is the successor to the Up24.
The Duels feature is a fresh strategy to help users stay engaged with their fitness wearables beyond the first few months of use. A 2014 study by US consultancy Endeavour Partners found that a third of US consumers who purchased a wearable stopped using it within six months. The study found social connection among users is a key factor in promoting sustained engagement.