The Sence illuminates the mystery behind your emotions

Having greater awareness of emotions and their effect on the body, as well as what can be done in order to emphasize more positive emotions, can help us do away with the triggers, habits, and situations that can exacerbate the bad ones.

The Sence wearable is aiming to help in this regard, with the capability of understanding when and where a user experiences 64 distinct emotions, physical exertion and recovery, vitality, and stress. It does by recognizing the minute variations between the heart’s contractions — called R-peak signals — with ECG tracking technology, something other wearables don’t do but that makes the Sence far more precise.

Nutrition/Hydration Sensors/IoT

The One X biosensor lets you pick up on your body’s vibes

Everyone is generally aware of the elements that contribute to a healthy lifestyle: nutrition-dense foods, ample water, some exercise and plenty of sleep, just to name a few. But the one issue most people have is actually quantifying the kind of lifestyle being led with something other than that vague sense of ‘feeling bad’. Luckily, the One X does exactly that.

The One X is a nutritional biosensor that can effectively measure the body’s antioxidant level, a reliable metric for understanding how well the body is able to cope with various lifestyle challenges along with the body’s reaction to elements like sun, alcohol, nutrition, exercise, pollution, stress and sleep. It’s able to do this through high-quality optic sensors that analyze critical skin antioxidants called carotenids with a 20-scan of the palm. Since carotenids absorb light in the blue spectrum, the One X pumps blue light into the palm and reads how much is absorbed for an accurate measurement of the body’s overall health. The worse the lifestyle, the lower the score: This gives up to five users (courtesy of a handy fingerprint sensor) clear incentive to make better decisions throughout the day.

Health and Wellness Smartwatches/Bands

Track your feelings and tap to pay all with Zenta, the smart emotion-tracking wearable

patent-claimedTowards the end of every presidency, before and after photos of the president in question make the rounds and show the toll eight years of high-level stress takes on the body, a sobering reminder of its prevalence in daily life. Left unmanaged, stress can wreak havoc on a person’s long-term health and well-being, but unfortunately isn’t generally handled well in modern society.

The Zenta follows a long line of crowdfunded, mindfulness-centered wearable focused on stress management and emotional well-being, but does so in a far more holistic way. For starters, it’s ceramic and leather construction makes it a fashion accessory anyone could wear comfortably. Inside, Zenta houses a wide range of technology: A Bluetooth radio for connectivity, microphone, temperature sensor, biometric optical sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, and a vibration motor along with multiple capacitive proximity sensors. All together, this allows Zenta to focus on effective management of smartphone notifications, activity tracking, and sleep monitoring.


Backerjack Podcast #20: Catching Thoughts and Generating Buzz

In Episode 20 of the Backerjack Podcast, guest host Michael Rose and Ross check out some of the latest products seeking funds and preorders:’

  • Myle Tap, a Bluetooth microphone that captures your thoughts on the go and can route them to a wide range of apps.
  • Doppel, a watch-like device that rhythmically buzzes your wrist to calm you down or rev you up..

Download the episode or play it below, subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and follow Backerjack on Twitter and Facebook.

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.



The Backerjack Podcast, Episode 11: Neptune’s suite, a dash cam’s beat, and stress retreat

In Episode 11 of The Backerjack Podcast, Steve and Ross check out three of the latest products seeking funds and preorders.

  • Neptune Suite, a family of computing products that rely on having all the computing intelligence in the smartwatch. It’s the most audacious mobile tech product mashup since the Dragonfly Futurefon.
  • LyfeLens, a connected dash cam that monitor your car even when it’s parked and serve as a mobile hotspot
  • Emvio, a stress-manaagement watch that relies on measuring heart rate variability.

Download  the episode or listen below, subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and follow Backerjack on Twitter and Facebook.


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.


V1bes alerts you to stress so you can be at your best

Excessive stress can impact a person’s health and even bring on sickness and depression. Keeping stress under control is one of the best ways to maintain optimum health. V1bes was created to help people to become more conscious of their stress levels so that they can take appropriate steps to alleviate their anxiety.

The biosensor is worn on the index finger and measures stress-influencing factors such as brainwaves, heart rate, and electromagnetic pollution. That information then gets translated to useful advice and training programs. The product is a smart device that learns about the user through consistent use and works in conjunction with their smartphone and personal cloud. Various apps include the thrill of competition through the biceps app, vibe “compatibility” between a couple, or explore how music changes one’s mood.

Not sure that having one’s personal health info stored in a cloud is the best idea, but V1bes is certainly an interesting product. A few other biosensor items of interest include Moodmetric, and Ear-O-Smart. This product seeks to raise $500 by February 11, 2015. For $199, early bird backers get one product with an expected delivery of September 2015.

Relaxation Smartwatches/Bands

Moodmetric ring wearable measures mood for improved outlook

Heart rate, burned calories, sleep quality: these are the domains most wearable technologies have traditionally focused on. But even if it’s well-known by this point how reflective our physical state is of our emotional well-being, there haven’t been many wearable devices that have focused this, despite how important it is to everyone.

Emotional intelligence is the understanding of a person’s emotions and how best to deal with them, which may not seem like a skill but most certainly is. The Moodmetric is aiming to help empower those who want to better track, share, and improve their emotional intelligence. The product is a stylish, yet understated ring that analyzes a persons mood, assigning it a mood level based on the stresses gleaned from the body’s nervous system through skin conductance. With this information literally at someone’s fingertips, learning about the situations which spike emotional levels along with techniques to calm one’s mind becomes much easier.

The Moodmetric use Bluetooth LE to work in tandem with a companion iOS app that takes that mood level and suggests mindfulness and meditation exercises to improve quality of life. The Moodmetric Black version is made of polycarbonate, high-gloss body with a steel ring for maximum contact, and goes for $179. The shinier, hand-crafted 14k gold version features a black agate stone top and gold plated ring for $3,950. The $50,000 is unclear as to when it is expected to be shipped.

The Moodmetric is a promising tool in the increasingly prominent field of emotionally-based wearables. While the Moodmetric is incredibly stylish, it simply doesn’t do enough when compared with the comparatively more functional Olive wristband. The Moodmetric’s actual metrics are a bit vague when compared to the specific data Olive provides, and Olive’s haptics provide a far more intuitive influence on one’s emotional state than manually checking an app.