Many spiritual and holistic practices, like meditation and yoga, place great emphasis on the breath for putting the practitioner in a relaxed, focused state of mind. Modern medicine agrees: physiologically, breathing is a two-way street, both reflecting mental state and stress levels and offering a way to regain control over the body’s natural responses.
Spire is a Bluetooth enabled fitness tracker that seeks to harness the power of breath to help users reduce stress and improve their mental state throughout the day. Unlike exercise trackers, which tend to focus on heart rate, Spire monitors breathing patterns and provides gentle reminders to pause and take a deep breath when the user needs it most.
Fast, shallow breaths may reflect stress; rapid changes in breathing patterns may indicate distraction. When it senses this, Spire sends a ping through the mobile app to say, essentially, “Don’t forget to breathe.” Users can also set their own breath schedule, which is useful if you know you always feel agitated before the morning meeting, or need a reminder not to rush through your entire lunch break.
The device is plastic, but looks like a small polished stone. It’s worn against the torso to help impove its accuracy, usually clipped to a belt or bra strap. Sensors inside track not only breathing, but also count steps and the amount of time the user spends sitting, standing or laying down to build up a complete picture of their daily activity patterns. Data syncs over Bluetooth Low Energy to preserve battery life, which is estimated at about 7 days on a charge.
Spire’s app will only be for iOS at first, but Android is on the way. The developers are also planning to release an API, and are working on additional software features, like the ability to track sleep quality.
Spire is currently taking a limited number of preorders, which should be delivered in September. Learn more in the video below.
Related: Zen Sensor
Author: Ted Burnham