The latest form of wearable tech, Doppel Wristwatch claims to have an antidote for bad moods, with a watch that can apparently transform your mood or energize you with the stroke of a finger.
Virtually every human at some point in time would experience a negative mood swing. Bad moods can come out of nowhere and last for hours, causing perfect days to be ruined. But the watch, Doppel, uses electric pulses to calm you down or boost your energy, vibrating against your wrist with a gentle electronic beat. One stroke of the dial creates a slow, calming beat, while a quick squeeze of the watch creates a faster, energizing pulse. The pulsations are designed to have a similar effect to music, and are imperceptible to anyone other than the watch-wearer.
“Fast music pumps you up, slow music chills you out – it’s something that happens to you without you even realising it,” says Nell Bennett, who designed the Doppel Wristwatch. “But playing music isn’t always possible. If you’re in a meeting and you’re feeling stressed and panicky or angry, you can’t say, ‘Don’t mind me while I just listen to some calming music’. The Doppel Wristwatch is a way to subtly and easily calm you down or pump yourself up on the go.”
The wearable tech Doppel was designed by a group of four students – a mechanical engineer, a material scientist, a quantum physicist and a designer – at a double master’s program at Imperial College and the Royal College of Art. The group ran tests on more than 40 people to determine the effects of their watch.
According to Benneth, “We could see a direct change in terms of people calming down. We found people’s focus doubled and their reactions times also improved, which is rare.” “It’s an effect that seems to happen with anyone, whether they like the product or not. Even those who said they found it distracting didn’t actually show a decrease in concentration. We like to think of it as technological doping or performance enhancing technology.”
The device is currently a prototype, but has the backing of 820 Kickstarter donors who have pledged £111,194 to turn the Doppel Wristwatch into a widely-available product. “We don’t envisage it as being used in sport – that market is so saturated. We see it as being used by professionals with a stressful working lifestyle,” says Bennett. “There’s nothing invasive about it at all. It’s not like caffeine which isn’t necessarily very good for you. It’s not dangerous in any way. It’s as dangerous as listening to music, if at all there’s any danger in that.”
The Doppel Wristwatch is priced at £200 for a limited edition. For one who is really stressed out and fatigued, £200 should be a small price for a moment of true calm.
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