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Jawbone Uses Sleep Data to Gauge Wake-Ups From Napa Earthquake

Not surprisingly, 93 percent of Up wearers near the epicenter of the Napa earthquake were jolted awake.

The overwhelming majority of people in Napa, Sonoma, Fairfield and Vallejo, Calif., were jolted awake by the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that occurred this past Sunday morning.

That’s according to consumer electronics company Jawbone, which has actually tracked the sleep patterns of “thousands of Up wearers” in the Bay Area, the company said in a blog post. (Up, for those who don’t know, is a $150 wristband that people wear to track their steps throughout the day and their sleep patterns during the night.)

Some other points include:

  • In San Francisco and Oakland, just over half of Up wearers woke up from the quake
  • Almost no Up wearers in Modesto and Santa Cruz woke up
  • 45 percent of people close to the epicenter of the quake didn’t go back to sleep afterward.

It’s hardly surprising that the earthquake woke people located near its epicenter — I live far south of there, and even I woke up around 3:20 am — but what might be more interesting is Jawbone’s use of such data.

While many consumers see Jawbone as, first and foremost, a hardware company that makes Bluetooth headsets and speakers in addition to the Up wristband, the company has made a concentrated effort to focus more on software and data-gathering over the past couple years.

The company previously put out data reports around sleep, such as this one, which compared men’s and women’s bedroom habits, and another that ranked the most sleep-deprived cities around the world. And in Jawbone’s end-of-year report 2013, it looked at how big events like the inauguration and the Boston Marathon bombing impacted people’s sleep.

But this is the first sleep report to come out around a natural disaster — one that injured over a hundred people and destroyed homes in Napa.

If you’re wondering exactly how Jawbone has obtained all of this user data — and it’s a good question — it’s pretty simple: You (the wearer) opt in to the anonymous data-mining when you sign up for the app.

“Our privacy policy is really clear,” a spokesperson for Jawbone said. “We don’t share people’s individual data without consent. So if you link your Up account to another app, then it is shared with that app. But we don’t package the data up and send it to just anyone.

“Also, all of these visualizations are aggregate data. It’s never identifiable.”

This article originally appeared on

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