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Jawbone手环:运动好伙伴

Jawbone手环:运动好伙伴

JP Mangalindan 2011年11月08日
旧金山的新创企业Jawbone起家于高端耳机制造,并已在此领域站稳阵脚。不过接下来,Jawbone正在进行一场豪赌,进军一个全新的市场。

    UP手环与其他同类产品相比最大优势在于设计。它看起来更像首饰,而不是笨重的健身设备。无论在产品质量还是设计上,UP手环都继承了Jawbone一贯的优点,而Jawbone正是靠这些赢得了无数赞誉。

    更重要的是,UP手环是Jawbone进军新领域的重要产品,同时也是Jawbone为打造其产品生态系统而迈出的重要一步。纽约咨询公司Caffeine的首席执行官迪恩•卡拉奇菲尔德称:“我最喜欢Jawbone产品的设计,真的非常出色。而且它们源自美国军方,很有悍马之类的风格,是正统产品。这些因素为Jawbone的产品带来了光环效应,使他成为了一家‘酷型’产品提供商。”

    在公司刚起步时,Jawbone(当时叫“Aliph”)为美国军方下属研究机构——美国国防部高级研究计划局开发了一项噪音抑制技术。不过拉赫曼和Jawbone的另一位创始人亚历山大•阿塞利发现了公司业务在个人消费市场的潜力,于是他们在2006年发布了第一款Jawbone蓝牙耳机,由瑞士工业设计师和Jawbone首席创意官伊夫•比哈尔联袂打造。Jawbone是一家私营企业,目前并未公布销售数据。

    UP手环能否成功的关键在于消费者是否接受99美元的售价。一方面,UP手环的售价和Jawbone的顶级产品不相上下;另一方面,一些消费者也许并不认可99美元的价格,因为很难界定UP手环的产品门类。消费者是否喜欢UP应用程序的用户界面也是一个未知数。卡拉奇菲尔德称:“用户界面首次真正成为决定一个品牌成败的关键。”

    然而,看空Jawbone可能非明智之举。Jawbone已经开发出了诸多其它公司没有想到的热门产品。现在,它似乎正跃跃欲试,准备进军一个潜力巨大的新市场。

    译者:项航

    One of UP's major advantages compared to other devices is its design. It looks more like jewelry than clunky exercise equipment. It sports the same high build quality and design sensibility of the company's other products, which have won numerous awards.

    More importantly, UP marks an important product for Jawbone as it continues to branch out into new areas. It's also a another step toward creating a potential ecosystem of Jawbone products. "What I like about what Jawbone has done is that their design is brilliant and they have a military heritage like Hummer, so they have a legitimacy," says Dean Crutchfield, CEO of the New York-based consultancy Caffeine. "They're creating a 'halo' for Jawbone as a provider of cool [products]."

    In its earliest incarnation, Jawbone (then "Aliph") worked on noise-cancellation technology for DARPA, the U.S. military's research arm. But Rahman and his cofounder Alexander Asseily saw the consumer potential in their work and eventually released the first Jawbone Bluetooth headset, crafted by Swiss industrial designer and the company's chief creative officer Yves Behar in 2006. A private firm, the company does not release sales data.

    Key to UP's success will be whether customers balk at the $99 price point. On the one hand, it falls in line with the premium pricing of company's products. On the other, some consumers may be skeptical of a $99 device that isn't as easily categorized. How users like the UP app's interface is another unknown. "For the first time, the interface really becomes a critical part of the brand," Crutchfield says.

    Betting against the company may be unwise. Jawbone has racked up a string of hits that others might not have seen coming. Now, it seems poised to capitalize on a potentially sizable new market.

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