If Zenta was a fitness tracker, it would clean up. The unisex, biometric bracelet is going for an early bird price of $149 on Indiegogo (with a sport band). Not only does it track steps, sleep and activity and look pretty while doing it, but there are also sensors to track heart rate, heart rate variability, galvanic skin response, skin temperature and respiration.
But it's not designed to be a next gen fitness band – in fact, it's more concerned with our emotions and how we can track and study them to improve our overall wellbeing. We're talking stress over steps, and happiness over calorie counting.
Vinaya, the London based startup behind the device, is building a platform that aims to pull in data from Zenta's biometric sensors as well as from third-party smartphone apps and "minimal subjective input" to create a personalised emotional profile.
The companion app will, via machine learning over time, give users actionable insights into what daily activities trigger negative emotions, stress or even depression as well as positive emotions, calm, stillness and overall wellbeing. So, don't take a money meeting on Mondays, work out in the evening, meditate, call your Mum.
It's the kind of dream spec sheet and reasonable price that could seem too good to be true to regular crowdfunders. Vinaya says it is building on over a decade of research into emotions and biofeedback and working with universities and institutions, some of which will be announced later this year.
"You will be able to get an idea of your emotional state in real time as well as your trends over time, with a view to help you reduce stress and increase happiness," Vinaya's founder and CEO Kate Unsworth told us. "We want to build something that over time begins to operate autonomously. It will help you organise and design your life in the way that makes most sense for you."
Vinaya, previously Kovert Designs, is taking its emotion sensing algorithms into beta testing with 5,000 users this year and the success of Zenta will ultimately rely on the power of the AI and the accuracy of its sensors. Extra features include intuitive fertility tracking and a new lexicon (emojis?) to share your emotions with friends and family.
It does already have form creating stylish wearables, though. At the end of 2015 we tested (and loved) its Altruis modular smart jewellery, which takes on one particular type of tech related stress, alert anxiety, with its highly customisable vibrations. Here, this is just one feature on offer thanks to a haptic motor.
Zenta, which won't ship until March/April 2017, is both iOS and Android compatible. It features a touch sensitive zirconia ceramic stone and is available in three colourways – matte black/black metal and black silicone band; matte black stone/black metal and black leather band and gloss white stone/rose gold metal and gray leather band.
It's set to be a similar size to the startup's first bracelet design: the stone is 9.8mm thick and 33.8 x 16mm in size. The final models will be IP67 waterproof (down to 1m) and charge via a proprietary cable. Battery life is a respectable "up to 5 days". The early bird Indiegogo price for the bracelets with leather bands is still very affordable at $179 ($299 retail) with the sport band model rising to $249 after the campaign.
Vinaya will be heading to CES in January 2017 for a wider launch of its latest piece of wearable tech. We'll bring you hands-on first impressions of Zenta between now and next April.
Are you interested in tracking your emotions? Does Zenta offer the next gen sensors you've been looking for? Let us know in the comments.
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