Relaxation Wearables

Spire provides a take on stress reduction to let you breathe easier

The Premise. Activity trackers are popular for good reason, evolving far beyond the original concept of a smart pedometer. From physical activity to heart rate, these wearable devices can seemingly track whatever anyone might need. Now, there’s one to keep track of breathing as well.

The Product. Spire is a tiny tracker that can be clipped onto any piece of tight fitting clothing and monitors breathing in order to make an assessment about a person’s state of mind. From anxiety to extreme focus, each emotion comes with its own breathing patterns, which Spire can identify and send alerts to a phone to keep the wearer calm and collected. Additionally, Spire can track time spent sitting, standing, lying down, or walking, providing additional balance to daily life. Spire also charges wirelessly with its own charging pad or any Qi charging pad.

The Pitch. The introductory video for Spire is empowering, artistic, and strongly filmed, while also managing to say almost nothing about the product itself. Aside from a few screenshots of the app and a glimpse of the device’s clip tucked into a waistband, it’s hard to determine what the device does or how it’s used. The website makes up for this by offering an exhaustive FAQ section that covers everything from what the device does to where the name “Spire” comes from. The website is otherwise what backers have come to expect from a proprietary pre-order site, with big full-size graphics that are fixed to the background.

The Perks. Spire is available for $119, comes with a charging pad for the device, and ships in September.

The Potential. Spire is a great concept, especially for people who suffer from respiratory problems or anxiety and aren’t accustomed to breathing normally in certain situations. Unfortunately, the device feels a little one-note in terms of its function and cost, and so it’s hard to see consumers opting for this over other wearable activity trackers. Whether Spire rolls more functionality into their device or a similar breath tracker appears as a feature in a different tracker, a more complete package needs to be made available to make these functions worth wearing every day, everywhere. Add to this the fact the device is currently only supported on iOS devices (Android compatibility is being worked on), and Spire seems like a niche product carved into an even smaller niche.