While there are a number of wearable gadgets currently on the market, with more being designed and developed every day, the gadgets that have the potential to make the greatest impact are those that, instead of being the typical fun, geeky device, actually serve a more practical purpose. The W/Me digital breathing coach is one of these and, according to the developer, is one of a kind.
What’s the W/Me?
The W/Me is a wearable device that contains advanced sensors. These sensors monitor the body’s AND (Autonomic Nervous System), the part of the nervous system that acts as the body’s subconscious control system. Rather than monitor individual body functions like blood pressure and heart rate, the developer claims that the W/Me can monitor the body â€œas a systemâ€ in order to help the wearer effectively improve his or her health.
The W/Me uses a medical grade sensor that is able to captures the body’s electrical impulses and, by using a proprietary algorithm, can display the mental state of the user at any moment. The W/Me, in this respect, appears to be a modern-day technological mood ring.
The developer has worked closely with doctors and other medical professionals to study the effects of guided, rhythmic breathing on the autonomic nervous system, and then created an application that will help integrate rhythmic breathing into the user’s lifestyle.
Why use the W/ME?
The biggest advantage to using the W/Me breathing coach is the social awareness aspect. Just like getting a general health examination from a doctor, the W/Me bracelet provides personal information about the body and, in turn, a greater understanding of overall health. By frequently monitoring the body, the user is able to make informed lifestyle decisions.
What Else Does it Do?
Aside from monitoring breathing patterns, the W/Me also has some cool features. For instance, pairing the device with a smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 will enable the W/Me to act as a notification center for incoming texts, email and phone calls, and will alert the wearer when the bracelet has left the phone’s Bluetooth range. And for those who tend to lose their phones, a simple button press of a button the wrist device will cause the phone to produce a sound, alerting the wearer to its location.
And of course no modern gadget would be complete without a Facebook check in option, which is likewise accomplished with a simple button press. A third button option on the W/Me will allow the device to operate as a remote camera shutter trigger, allowing the smartphone’s camera to be operated hands free.
Which Smartphones Does it Work With?
At the moment the W/Me device only works with Apple iOS devices. While plans are being made to support Android devices in the future, the Android operating system’s current lack of Bluetooth 4.0 support means that Android users will have to wait. Likewise, the W/Me is only compatible with newer iOS devices (iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad Mini and the iPod Touch 5th generation).
The W/Me is currently being funded through a Kickstarter campaign, and has already surpassed the initial $100,000 goal. No public launch date has been released for the device, but the developer anticipates shipping the product to the initial backers by the end of August 2013.