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Jawbone still has waterproof fitness tracker plans despite UP3 failings

Following Jawbone's rather failed attempts to release a pool-proof wearable through its now-flagship fitness tracker UP3, the wearable maker said that it still has big ambitions to create a waterproof device.

UP product manager Jason Donahue told Wareable (opens in new tab) that the company still aspires to release such a product and that its prototype had an internal codename of Thorpe, which was named after an Olympic swimmer.

Jawbone intended to make the UP3 waterproof but hit difficulties, causing months of delays (opens in new tab)in its pre-order deliveries and ending up with a mere splash-proof device instead.

"Our manufacturing is done with robotics and there are very fine tolerances that are allowed. The tolerances to get to waterproofing were a little bit too specific, too narrow for our machinery," Donahue explained. "We apologise for the delays and we apologise for not getting there yet but it's something that we aspire for the future."

He added that, at the end of the day, the company understood that they had to make compromises to realise the device's form factor.

Jawbone's option to realise the waterproof device was to increase the size of the UP3 for its waterproofing tolerance, but they figured that making the device "wearable and small, and beautiful" is much more important.

Jawbone has also decided to part company with Fullpower Technologies and its MotionX tech – the brains behind the activity tracking in previous UP wearables – to opt for an in-house expert in terms of algorithms.

"[W]e wanted to have a bit more freedom to push things we wanted to explore further," he explained. "When you have full control it's much easier to make tweaks on the fly."

To get your hands on one of Jawbone's fitness trackers, follow the links below.

If Jawbone doesn't tickle your fancy, how about a Fitbit?