Stressed out? Science says a heartbeat-mimicking wearable can calm you down

heartbeat wearable stress doppel2
Team Turquoise Ltd.
Feeling anxious? A wearable that mimics the vibration of a heartbeat could help you relax in stressful situations, according to a new study out of the Royal Holloway, University of London.

The device is dubbed “doppel” and delivers rhythmic vibrations to the inside of the wrist. The wearable is designed to tap into our innate physiological response to rhythm — think of how physical rocking or certain kinds of music can make your feel calm, while fast-paced rhythms can make your feel anxious or excited.

heartbeat wearable stress doppel3
Team Turquoise Ltd.
doppel

“Several early doppel users have said that doppel made them feel more focused and alert especially when doppel was vibrating on a high speed,” Manos Tsakiris, a psychologist who worked on the study, told Digital Trends. “We have also done one pilot experiment at my lab to demonstrate the effect of doppel on focus and alertness. After these encouraging results the crucial issue was to demonstrate that doppel can also having a calming effect.”

To test this idea, Tsarkiris and his team simulated a stressful situation by asking subjects to prepare for a public speech, which previous studies and plenty of anecdotes have established as a pretty stressful task.

“We wanted to use a task that … makes sense for real life … is successful in eliciting stress and anxiety, and a task to which potential users can easily relate to,” Tsarkiris said. “And it seems to us that most of the working population will have to give a shorter or a longer speech at some point of their career.”

In the study published last week in the journal Scientific Reports, the volunteers wore a doppel as they were preparing for the speech, but were told the device measured blood pressure.

Instead, the device did nothing for one group and gave another group subtle vibrations, slower than their resting heart rate. The researchers recorded how anxious the volunteers said they were along with physiological markers of stress. They found that only the group who wore the device showed psychological and physiological signs of decreased stress.

“Our finding is important not only because we show the significant effect that doppel can have on the physiology and psychology of the users, but also we show it within the context of a situation that may easily arrive in our everyday life,” Tsarkiris said.

The device will is available for pre-order for 125 British pounds ($160 in the United States) and is expected to ship this summer.

Wearables

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.
Wearables

Alphabet’s health watch monitors your heart health, is approved by the FDA

A health monitoring watch being developed by Alphabet, Google's parent company, has received clearance from the FDA as a medical device. This means that the device has been found to be safe and can legally be sold in the U.S.
Wearables

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.
Mobile

Turn to these apps to help you in your next hunt for a job

Looking for a job can be a stressful experience, but these days, a simple mobile app can help you to find and apply for jobs all over the country -- here are some of the best job search apps for iOS and Android.
Deals

Start your fitness journey with the best Fitbit deals available now

If you're ready to kick-start your fitness regimen (or just take your current one to the next level), we've created a quick rundown of the best, most current Fitbit deals to help you decide which one is best for you.
Product Review

Apple brought ECG tracking to consumers. Withings is making it affordable

The Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $400, and the highlight function is the electrocardiogram, which has the potential to save lives. Withings’ new Move ECG has the same capability but at a fraction of the cost.
Deals

Walmart slashes prices on the Fitbit Versa smartwatch and Charge 3

We are officially halfway through January, and for a lot of us, that means the struggle to stick to our New Year's resolutions is in full force. Walmart is offering some great discounts on Fitbits to help you stay on track.
Wearables

How to switch TicHealth to Google Fit on the Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro

The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro are both much-loved and feature-packed watches, and they offer excellent fitness tracking. Recently, Mobvoi has switched out Google Fit for TicHealth, but you can switch them back. Here's how.
Android

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…
Deals

REI slashes prices on Suunto, Garmin, and Fitbit Versa smartwatches

Though fitness trackers and smartwatches can get pretty pricey, REI is offering some sweet discounts on top brands. Right now, you can get a new smartwatch from Fitbit, Suunto, and Garmin for up to 35 percent off its normal price.
Wearables

Check out the four cool Swatch watches you can use for mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.
Business

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.