A California startup hopes it can help people understand and track stress levels through a new wearable device that keeps tabs on breathing patterns via a mobile app that advises users on how to relax more.
The device from Spire could be a great way to minimize stress as users can recognize the most stressful parts of the day and work to avoid or mitigate stress response.
In many ways, this new tech could help save lives, as medical professionals have repeatedly stated high stress levels can lead to heart attack or stroke if not countered. Spire said its device allows users to track and understand their breathing patterns and reduce stress levels throughout the daily grind.
Spire, in a press release, says the new device will give people the ability to "have a balanced and focused day."
For many observers, the optimism surrounding the Spire device is countered by the market beginning to look oversaturated with wearable devices that give huge promises, but which users and the general population are not convinced will be delivered.
At the same time, Spire is going beyond the status quo of wearable health devices that are tracking only calories, sleep patterns and steps daily. By adding breathing to the device, it could assist many in understanding where and how stress develops, as breathing patterns can indicate stressful times.
It is a small device with a belt clip that attaches to the waistband and sits at the hip, where it can measure how fast you are breathing by tracking abdominal movement. States of being nervous, worried, and excited generally up the respiration rate, so focusing on breathing can help wearers slow things down.
Neema Moraveji, Spire co-founder and chief product officer, believes it is a device that could help improve overall health. Moraveji also is director of Stanford University's Calming Technology Lab that examines and investigates how devices and products on the market can reduce stress levels.
"Skin sweating, you have no control over," Moraveji said in an interview. "But respiration sits at the conscious/unconscious border."
The device is in the preorder phase, and users can prepay for it at Spire's website at a cost of $109.99. Spire, which is in discussions with additional retail channels, plans to deliver the product in September. The normal retail rate will run at $149.99 once it goes onto shelves. It comes with a charging pad and can also be used with any standard Qi charging pad.
While the Spire device has been received with positive reviews, the question for many is whether the general population is ready for such a device and if they will find it useful enough to dole out over $100 for it. Either way, having the beginnings of a health wearable technology revolution should be a boost to health issues facing the global community.