In a new weekly column, we’ll curate a selection of the most important and intriguing news on wearable technology focused on improving mental wellbeing. From mindfulness-inducing headbands aids to bracelets detecting high anxiety, these products are riding the wave of a burgeoning trend within wearables: innovation designed to help us learn more about mental health.
And with that knowledge comes the power to help ourselves and do something about conditions such as depression, poor sleep, sluggish brain function, and much more.
Here are our picks for the top wearable tech news for this week:
Tinder founder to launch mood-sensing Happy Ring
The online dating industry never looked the same after Tinder and its many competitors rocketed to success, and now one of the app’s co-founders hopes to do the same with wearable tech. Sean Rad recently introduced the Happy Ring, which has yet to announce a release date. Sporting a custom electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor that tracks changing stress levels in real-time, the device alerts you to when your sympathetic nervous system — the region of your body that regulates your fight or flight response — begins to gear up.
The Happy Ring works by looking for sweat gland openings or sweat production, which is then ported into an algorithm that identifies an emotional state. The ring then continually tweaks the AI model to an individual person’s data, and then that data helps personalize exercises for you that may help you manage your stress and improve your mood and overall wellbeing.
Fitbit helping ease the pressure of back-to-work stress
Part of the anxiety of returning to the office in 2022 is the anxiety over contracting COVID. To that end, Fitbit released a new tool, called Ready for Work, which helps employees determine whether they have signs of COVID-19 before returning to the job. Leveraging key health metrics from Fitbit devices and self-reported symptoms, this tool offers a digital daily check-in feature to assist with adding details about exposure, symptoms and current body temperature.
Daily reporting and analytics also give employers a rounded view to quickly assess and monitor workplace health and safety and provide support for affected employees.
Are therapeutic video games on the rise?
Soon after the FDA approved the world’s first prescription video game, it quickly became a hot-ticket item for parents and their children. But you won’t find this on PlayStation or Xbox. Aimed for kids ages 8 to 12 with ADHD, EndeavorRX gives them ways to focus on various tasks simultaneously within the game.
Its website explains, “Kids are challenged to multitask and ignore distractions by navigating courses, collecting targets, and avoiding obstacles. An algorithm measures performance and customizes each patient’s treatment in real time.”