Smart Coach_Jawbone Blog

A Smart Coach By Your Side

“It’s getting late! Don’t you think you should get to bed?” my father asked, poking his head into my bedroom. When I was 15 years old, this happened a couple times each week. A decade and a half later, and what’s changed? Not much actually. My tendency to stay up late continues, but what’s different is the nudge. Instead of my father intervening, my nudges now come from an intelligent system called Smart Coach.

Smart Coach Push Notification

It’s odd because we often know what is good for us. Do I know that I should get more sleep? Of course, but that last episode of Scandal –err, I mean, Suits – can just be too alluring. For most of us, that knowledge of what is good for us is not enough. Closing the gap between ‘should’ and ‘will’ is where the human mind gets hung up.

This is where a message with the right context, delivered in just the right way, is critical. Smart Coach is the intelligent system in UP that does exactly that. And through rigorous testing and studies, we have seen it work, helping people get to bed 23 minutes earlier on average and move 27% more during the day.

Smart Coach Insight - Jawbone Blog

So how does it work? Not unlike what my father did, my Smart Coach gets to know me and my routine. My Smart Coach knows that I typically wake up around 7:00 am, so if I’m still awake at 12:30 am, it can tell that something is awry. But unlike my father, Smart Coach crunches my data 24/7 (no offense, dad) and points out that for every 30 minutes I’m up past my normal bedtime, I tend to be 8% less active the next day.

Even more important than the ‘what’ is the ‘how’. My dad would carefully choose his tone and delivery. In the world of Smart Coach, that means putting behavioral science into practice. It can be as simple as how Smart Coach frames a suggestion, leveraging a concept in brain science called Reactance. It can also be more complex, with Smart Coach redesigning how the entire interaction is structured, applying renowned behavioral economist Robert Cialdini’s theory of Commitment and Consistency.

Smart Coach may even recognize that we might need a little extra help. While my father guided me day-to-day, it “takes a village”, as they say. So Smart Coach readily collaborates with other trainers and services to help you reach even more specific end-goals. For example, if you are looking for someone to ask questions about your workout and teach you new exercises, Smart Coach will help you find a live trainer in the Jawbone Marketplace. Once you sign up, there is an exchange of data and learnings between Smart Coach and your live trainer, giving both coaches a much better chance of helping you succeed.

By leveraging its computational power to understand each person better, and by employing behavioral science techniques and collaborating with others, Smart Coach gently guides us toward healthier decisions. The more you use UP to track your daily lifestyle, the more Smart Coach can tune in to you.

About The Author

Kelvin Kwong
  • Kelvin Kwong
  • Director of Product Management, Head of Behavior Change

Kelvin leads a cross-functional team building experiences to facilitate behavior change to improve health outcomes. At Jawbone, he takes the learnings from behavioral science out of textbooks and into the hands of the UP community. Kelvin previously spent time at Amazon, as an investor and as a professional magician for nearly a decade -- and no, we’re not playing two truths and a lie. Follow him at @kelvinskwong if your heart desires.