This wearable wants you to hack your happiness

Is emotion-tracking the new fitness-tracking?

I see wearables everywhere I look right now. They come in the form of wrist bands, smartwatches, and now we even have smart clothes. Almost all wearables have features to help you track your fitness, so it’s refreshing to see a product that aims to track something else: your emotions. Feel, created by Sentio Solutions, is a wristband that promises to improve your emotional well-being by recording your stress levels and helping you make positive changes.

Image © Sentio Solutions

The Feel band is designed to be worn all day and faces the same challenges as other wearables when it comes to balancing form and function. It doesn’t look like high fashion, but I wouldn’t say it’s downright ugly either. Feel is available in a variety of colours and one size should fit all as it can be adjusted. Where Feel gets interesting is in its sensors. The wristband can read your skin temperature, blood volume pulse, and galvanic skin response. All this data is tracked and sent via Bluetooth to a dedicated app on your smartphone.

Feel wants to give you a feel for how your mood changes depending on what you’re doing, where you are, or even who you’re with. You’ll be able to see when you were most stressed or relaxed and think about the activities you were doing. If you’re particularly stressed, the wristband will vibrate to suggest you try something else. The app makes recommendations to help you chill out and improve your mood, even offering guided breathing and meditation exercises. You can think about happiness long-term and set goals on the app. If you use Feel for long enough, you’ll able to track how your mood improves (or doesn’t) using the product.

Does it actually work? I doubt the emotional analysis will be as detailed or accurate as some might hope for, but it’s more than likely this product will accurately detect times of stress. But why are you stressed? To be truly useful, Feel needs to be able to pick up on subtle differences. There are many reasons you could appear to be angry. Perhaps you’re so unhappy that you’ve become frustrated and got angry. Alternatively, you could be getting angry because you’re playing a videogame with a friend and it’s getting intense. You don’t want to lose a multiplayer match and have the app tell you to smile more. I have no doubts that Feel will give you a general picture of your mood, but it remains to be seen how sophisticated the analysis will be.

You can register interest in the product at the official website. Pre-orders for Feel will begin in spring and start at $149 (£105 – shipping details not yet confirmed). Sentio Solutions aims to release the product in December this year, just in time to keep me relaxed at family dinners.

Main image © iStock/shironosov