Health and Wellness Relaxation Smartwatches/Bands

Doppel calms you down, revs you up with a buzz to the wrist

From Five Hour Energy to ZzzQuil, there are  no shortages of substances legal, regulated and outright banned to help us mentally speed up or slow down. Unfortunately, virtually all of them include chemicals that have some kind of side effect and they’re often difficult to gain access to in the moment they’re most needed.

That’s not so for doppel, a round wrist-worn device that might pass for a mechanical watch at first glance. Indeed, unlike digital watches that have few or no moving parts, doppel is designed to generate movement. Rather than using gears to tell the time, though, the product generates a rhythmic buzzing designed to produce a calming or energizing pattern of buzzes on the inside if your wrist. The principle is the same as using music to calm one down or pump one up. Doppel’s battery will do so for five to 10 hours. The standard stainless steel doppel goes for about £85 (about $127) and should be ready in March 2016. Turquoise, the group behind doppel, seeks $155,412 by July 16th.

Assuming it works, which Turquise does not prove conclusively, doppel makes a strong case to be the connected thing one should have on the other wrist assuming one wears a watch (smart or traditional). The product has more potential than other wrist gear that simply indicates stress levels, handing off the calming tasks to an app. The company would have a stronger case if it relied on biofeedback like the HeartMath Inner Body Sensor that completes the feedback loop using one’s breathing.


Prana wearable tells you how to breathe easy, take a stand

Today, most wearable are focused on measuring the number of steps one takes per day. It’s a useful measure of daily activity, but there is far more to understanding one’s well-being.

Prana looks like many fitness trackers that clip to a waistband, but it takes a different approach, measuring things that many other product are not – breathing and posture. Prana calculates a score for both and allows a number of ways to actively improve, including a videogame controlled by your breathing and respiration exercises associated with practices such as tai chi and yoga. San Franciso-based Prana Tech seeks $100,000 by April 30th. The price for a Prana is $129, a $20 discount from its expected retail price. The device is expected to ship in July.

Prana competes with Spire, which measures activity in addition to breathing. Spire is ahead of the curve when it comes to interpreting the meaning of certain breathing patterns, but Prana’s measurement of posture is a nice bonus as that has previously been the domain of other wearables; its active training is also more interactive than Spire’s.



Emvio watch lets you know when it’s time to calm down

A number of smartwatches and other bands can measure heart rate, but they’re generally focused on fitness activities.

As previewed last month, Emvio is a specialized smartwatch that eschews apps and general notifications in favor of the primary task of measuring your heart rate variability as an indicator of stress level. As such, rather than use fancy color e-paper or LCDs, the watch face is a thin LED strip on a square slab that displays basic numbers. Rising stress levels are noted with a vibration. These are sent to a smartwatch that tracks stress levels over time and offers suggestions on how to calm down. The campaign owner, Darta Systems, seeks to raise $250,000 CAD (about $198,000 USD) by April 21st. Emvio watches cost $206 CAD (about $159 USD) although the campaign is offering early bird pricing as low as $167 (about $129 USD).

Emvio joins a number of products such as last fall’s successfully crowdfunded Olive smartband and the more versatile Spire wearable that measures breathing. But in an era where more smartwatches are measuring heart rate, much of its functionality could wind up being incorporated into an app.