Smithsonian: “Stressed? The Latest In Wearables Could Help Keep You Calm”

“In 2013, consumers bought 84 million fitness and activity tracking devices, according to a study by IHS technology. By 2019, that number will grow beyond 120 million.

While the monitors can do a lot to spur activity and encourage users to log more steps, reps, and miles, most of that encouragement comes once the day is over. What’s been missing is coaching to help users make healthier decisions in real time.

But the Spire, a Bluetooth wearable device that clips onto a bra or waistband, should do a lot to fill in that gap. Instead of measuring laps or calories, it monitors how users breathe to help them have greater awareness of and control over their stress levels.”

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Shape’s Best Summer Tech for the Beach

Most activity-tracking devices monitor your, well, activity, but not necessarily the time in between. Thing is, you’re still breathing during your downtime, and your breath can tell you a lot about your state of mind (which of course, in turn, is deeply linked to your overall health). Spire uses your breath to show you when you’re feeling tense, relaxed, or focused—and helps you stay balanced during the day. It resembles a small river stone, making it perfect for a zen walk. ($149;


Spire on Brit + Co

Lisa Raphael did a wonderful write-up of Spire for Brit+Co. We thought we’d repost it here (with her permission). 

We’re about to unlock a serious life hack for you. You know the whole “breathing” thing? You’re doing it wrong. :-/ And for something that you do 16 times a minute (take a breath, that is) you should be better at it. Like a mini yogi in your pocket, Spire is a new activity tracker that cares less about how many calories you burned today or the number of steps you took. It’s more concerned with your breathing, focusing, relaxing and (if it has its way) not stressing.

With the promise that it will “track your body, breath and mind,” Spire is the first like it that strives to improve your mental and your physical well being. How you breathe both reflects and influences how you feel and how your mind is functioning — consider it a happy or vicious cycle, depending on where you’re at.

Heading into an important meeting, rushing to meet a deadline, juggling everything on your daily calendar — stresses like these give your bod a couple options: fight. Or flight. The pager-shaped device fits in your pocket or, better yet, hooks onto your bra strap to monitor your breathing patterns during the day in real time using a patent-pending sensor. It analyzes your om sweet om, sending streaming data about your stress levels to the cloud. It knows when your breath becomes shallow and sends a messages to your phone to get you to inhale and exhale deeper and with more care. Not because it’s a control freak, but because it knows checking back in with yourself could make your day a little better.

The simple action of thoughtful breathing could also make your life better. Stress has some negative short and long term affects on your bod, inside and out and Spire points out that even a few deep breaths here and there could ease pressure on your heart. Yikes — but made ya breathe just now, didn’t we ;)?

While you may not wear it with the intention of keeping you company at the gym, Spire will still count your steps and track your daily actions to paint a (pretty, might we add?) picture of your daily health. And, hey, maybe you’ll start seeing that those extra steps taken helped you have a more peaceful day.

You’re used to your phone going off with all sorts of emails and alerts asking you to respond, stay late tonight, pick up this on your way home. With Spire, your alerts are actually encouraging you to check something even more important off of your to do list — doing you! Peace of mind and body doesn’t come free; you can pre-order Spire now for $119, expected to ship around September.

Reposted with permission from Brit + Co.

PC Magazine

“Spire senses activity, body position, and breathing, so it knows when you’re taking short shallow breaths or holding your breath, as well as whether you’re sitting or standing. A tense 30-minute work session might result in the app suggesting a change in body position, some breathing exercises, or taking a stroll to clear your head.”


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Shape Magazine


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