Jawbone has shown one of the more interesting ways data gathered on its platform might be used for large-scale population studies: The fitness tracker company looked at its cumulative UP data to find out where wearers of its fitness bands were woken up by the South Napa earthquake that happened yesterday morning, and where people slept through the ground shaking.
Jawbone found that, unsurprisingly, those living closest to the epicenter of the quake were the ones who woke up most reliably, at around 3:20 AM when it originally struck. 93 percent of UP wearers in Napa, Sonoma, Vallejo and Fairfield woke up almost instantly, while just over half of UP wearers in San Francisco and Oakland were awoken. The effect was negligible for those further out – by the time you get to surrounding Modesto and Santa Cruz, where the effects where still detectable but very minor, there are almost no UP wearers who arose around the time of the event.
The people closest to the epicenter were also more likely to stay up longer after waking, per Jawbone – of those 15 miles or less from the epicenter, 45 percent stayed up the remainder of the night.
This data as it stands isn’t much more than an interesting observation on how we’re impacted immediately by events that could be disastrous, but it could inform longer-term studies about the impact of things like earthquakes on humans over longer periods of time. You can also see how similar data could be used to study correlations between living in earthquake-prone areas and long-term impact on sleep patterns and other aspects of health, for instance. In short, while it may seem like a lark, the data gathered by Jawbone could inform serious scientific work in the future, especially if wearables attain any kind of wide consumer scale.