The newest wearable technology to hit the scene is NOT designed to rate your fitness, tickle you about an important call or beckon assistance when you're in danger. The sole purpose of the Doppel bracelet is to support your well being by making you feel more alert or more relaxed, using tactile pulses on your inner wrist.
Invented by a team of British graduate students with expertise in quantum physics, mechanical engineering, material science and industrial design, the Doppel wristband works on the premise that humans naturally react to rhythms — a process called "entrainment."
Upbeat music, for instance, can increase one's heart rate while soothing music will have a calming effect. The body has the ability to auto-adjust to match an external stimulus — in this case, a pulse that mimics the "lub-dub" rhythm of a heartbeat.
Independent tests by psychologists at Royal Holloway University of London confirmed that upping the pulse of the Doppel device improved focus, alertness and reaction times, while lowering the pulse allowed the subjects to stay calm under pressure or wind down for a restful sleep.
Team Turquoise, the company behind Doppel, found that the alertness pulse was most useful to people who needed a boost during a long afternoon meeting or while exercising. Nell Bennett, the co-founder responsible for design, told Wired magazine that she likes to use Doppel when she's running.
"It feels like you're on a running machine even when you're outdoors, because you automatically keep to the rhythm and run at a constant rate which is really useful," she told Wired.
The device uses a companion app that initially measures the user's resting heart rate and then assigns two settings, one to stimulate the user and one to calm her down. Once configured, all the rest of the controls are located on the Doppel itself.
It looks like a watch, but it has no dial. Users can up the pulse by tapping the device and lower the pulse by stroking it. A rotation of the dial adds or subtracts to the intensity of what is felt on the inner wrist.
"We didn't want it to be a piece of complex technology with screens and numbers," Bennett told Wired. "We tried to use natural interactions that help you bond with it."
Team Turquiose just completed a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that generated more than $168,000. With that money and other grants provided by Deutsche Bank on UK-supported Innovate UK, the company is set to bring the Doppel to market in the spring of 2016.
They are available in a wide variety of fashionable styles for men and women, and will sell for about $110. The company's website is here.
Credits: Images via tturquoise.com.