Announced late last year and making an appearance at CES 2016 back in January, the Feel Wristband by Palo Alto-based startup Sentio Solutions is a wrist-worn tracker that claims to be able to monitor emotions and stress levels throughout the day and even help you get in a better mood.
It's a project that started about a year and half ago by co-founders George Eleftheriou and Haris Tsirbas. The Eureka moment for Feel struck when Tsirbas was visiting Eleftheriou in New York. Eleftheriou had just bought a Fitbit and was throughly impressed by the fitness tracker. Tsirbas, a senior researcher in biomedical engineering, felt it lacked one thing and that was the ability to measure emotion.
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So the Feel was born. At first glance, it doesn't look all that different from any other fitness trackers. Through multiple sensors including a Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), it's able to detect something called Electrodermal Response EDR, which is regarded as a great indicator of emotional state. That's also combined with a movement, blood volume pressure and skin temperature sensors to deliver the data to your phone.
That data can then be sent in real time over Bluetooth to the Feel companion app where you can view your emotional state and get a better idea of the factors that could be having an impact on it. That could be down to people you meet or the environment you've been in. You know, like spending a long day in the office for instance or going for a tough gym session.
For the sceptics who question whether it'll work, we spoke to Sentio Solutions' marketing lead Klairi Saha to find out more. While Saha wouldn't reveal specifics around the kind of testing that has been carried out, she did tell us that more than 150 people have been tested and it's seen a high accuracy rate. It also expects to carry out more testing in the coming months.
Saha also believes that there's so much more to the idea of keeping your emotional state in check. "The functionality of the product will not be only tracking emotions and showing the end user the results of this tracking," she told us. "It will also offer recommendations of how they can make changes. Say a user has information on one day he was feeling great, and happened to do some yoga that day. Then he tracked another day where he wasn't feeling great and didn't do any yoga. He will get an alert to say, why don't you try doing some yoga today?"
There's also support for vibrating alerts to acknowledge when you've got yourself into a particularly stressful situation and the app can offer breathing and meditation exercises to get you feeling good again. You can also set up a personalised wellness program to introduce habits that'll make you feel happier and keep track of achieving those goals.
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Sentio Solutions also want Feel to work with third party apps as well to broaden the experience. There's plans to give the API to developers ahead of a launch or some time after it's available for people to get hold of. "We envision a product that could be connected Spotify for instance. So when you come back from work and you are feeling a bit down, the app can show you a recommendation to listen to some music," Saha told us.
So is the Feel wristband on track to launch? Currently, you can pre-order one from the Feel website for $149, which is down from the full $199 price. The team are planning a full launch in the first quarter of 2017 with a crowdfunding campaign also pencilled in for Fall 2016.
There's a pretty good reason why the startup hasn't ventured into the realms of crowdfunding just yet. "We wanted to make sure we had reached a great stage in the development of the product and done the proper marketing preparation before going down that crowdfunding road," Saha told us.
"We have developed a full working prototype and wanted to make sure the product was fully functional before turning to crowdfunding. We also want to deliver on time and not have to make people wait."