Feeling Frazzled? This Wearable Gadget Can Help Keep Your Stress in Check.
Entrepreneurs are some of the most stressed-out people you’ll ever meet. If left to fester, the constant worry and pressure of running your own business can spiral into a nerve-thrashing mess of anxiety, depression and despair. It’s not pretty.
But Spire, an ambitious zen master for your pocket, sure is -- in looks and in concept. Clipping onto your belt, or your underwear or bra, Spire is a stone-shaped activity tracker like a Fitbit Zip -- only it also measures something equally as important to your health as footsteps. It measures your state of mind, or so its makers claim.
Using the real-time breathing pattern data it constantly collects and crunches, Spire gently informs you of how tense, distracted or just plain freaked out you are. Then -- here’s the coolest part -- it gently nudges you to focus, breathe deeply and calm down. And not in a pushy way either. It sends a series of soothing suggestions and meditations directly to your smartphone.
Or, should you fall into a funk, a lethargic slump, Spire turns into a motivational coach, goading you to get up and get moving.
"It's very hard to stay mindful throughout our chaotic and always connected day," Spire co-founder and CEO Jonathan Palley told The Huffington Post. "The design of the Spire experience is not to interrupt you every time you're tense, but to bring mindfulness and awareness streaks of tension/focus/calm within this chaos."
The wireless-charging gizmo costs $150 and works with a free iPhone app (an Android app is on the way) that pings you with pacifying notifications all day long. Sometimes it too many notifications, according to one re/code reviewer who reported that the Spire was glitchy. Wireless connectivity was an issue and so was battery life, during her test. Spire said it’s working on it and should have the kinks worked out with updates to its hardware and software.
To see Spire in action for yourself, take a deep breath and check out trippy promo video:
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.