Spire is a small device that helps to reduce stress by tracking your breathing patterns.
Stress is a major cause for just about every disease out there, from cancers to heart disease. One little device might be able to help us all relax and breathe a little easier.
While at work, most people are going from meeting to meeting, replying to endless emails and switching between tasks to complete a project. And most don't stop long enough to take a deep breath, or even think about doing so. Spire is a little device that reminds people to stop and take a deep breath to help reduce their stress levels.
The device is small enough to clip to a shirt, and uses sensors to detect the user's body position, activity and respiratory movement. A coinciding app visually displays your breathing, with a circle that grows and shrinks with each breath. As you focus more, a mountain grows to represent your concentration.
"I wanted to give people power and awareness over their state of mind," said founder Neema Moraveji. "The most tangible way to do that, to give people feedback and awareness, as well as a way to influence it, is the breath."
When people become stressed and anxious it shows in their breathing patterns. On the flip side, changing these patterns and simply remembering to take a few deep breaths throughout the day can help to improve concentration.
"When we're tense, we get into a reactive state," Moraveji said. "There's tension, everything clenches up, and the body goes into a fight or flight response. It's the opposite of having a clear mind with a priority and keeping that goal in mind in spite of distractions."
When Spire detects that you haven't taken a deep breath in half an hour, the app pings you to remind to go partake in a short breathing exercise. A prototype of the device was tested among employees at LinkedIn's headquarters, with positive results.
"About 70% of the participants were talking about feeling less tired at the end of the day, and more able to be productive and focus at work," Moraveji said.
Spire also tracks how many steps you take in the day and how much time you are spending sitting down. This helps to track a user's overall health, in real time.
"It's like a video game," Moraveji explained. "You look down and you have this very intuitive and visual understanding of, oh, that's what I've been doing today. It's focusing on a different part of health--health doesn't just happen when you're at the gym."
Spire is currently accepting preorders for the device, which is expected to begin shipping in the fall.
See how Spire works in the video below.