New Wristband Provides on-Demand Mood Change
London-based Team Turquoise has designed a new age wristband called doppel that can instantly change your mood.
Or, as the team puts it, “Doppel helps you focus or relax on demand. It’s a completely natural way to control the pace of life.”
The team met while students at London’s Imperial College, combining their knowledge of mechanical engineering, industrial design, theoretical physics, and materials science with the psychological effects of music and mood on the body’s well-being.
So how does doppel work?
A Pulse for Your Pulse
Similar in size and style to a regular wristwatch, the team calls doppel “empathic technology that works with your body.”
Don’t expect to find a flashy screen or buttons. Rather, the technology is based on “intuitive, natural interactions.” It delivers a customized tactile beat to the wrist and provokes responses from the wearer, based on their innate response to rhythm.
Why the wrist?
Team Turquoise Co-Founder, Jack Hooper, explains that doppel was inspired by psychophysiology – how the body and mind interact: “We wear it on the inside of the wrist because this is a psychological mechanism, having doppel’s pulse where you expect to feel your own pulse amplifies the effect.”
The first step is to calibrate the device. That requires taking the user’s resting heartbeat through the wristband and accompanying smartphone app. The team says synchronizing doppel to the wearer’s pulse will maximize its effectiveness.
Once calibrated, a little fine-tuning sets up the device for each individual user. Multiple settings can be saved, so that the user’s phone is no longer needed.
Using the device is simple…
Set Your Mood… on Demand
Want to relax? Stroking the ridge on doppel’s face slows the beat.
Want to focus and be more alert? Squeeze the doppel to crank up the beat. Then twist the dial to alter the pace and intensity.
This theory is based on “entrainment” – how people naturally respond to rhythms by adjusting their heart rate accordingly. As Team Turquoise Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer, Andreas Bilicki, explains, “In the same way that upbeat music can excite you, bring you up, and make you more alert, doppel does this. It does the same thing with the downbeat tempo, which helps you calm down and even helps you sleep.”
And he says it’s unique technology: “As far as we’re aware, no one else has developed this type of technology – it’s a new breed of wearable that actually allows you to change the way you feel in a natural and simple way.” And it does so unobtrusively – without noise or distraction.
The company’s other Co-Founder, Nell Bennett, says doppel offers more than current wearables. How?
Because it doesn’t just monitor the body’s activity… it physically changes it in a tangible and beneficial way: “We feel that wearables need to step beyond and become something that’s truly integrated seamlessly into people’s lives. We wanted to make a wearable that was about changing how you feel, not just giving you nagging statistics on how many steps you’ve walked that day.”
Take a look…
With the Tech Validated, Awards and Funding Have Followed
In trials on over 250 people, users reported that doppel helped their productivity and mood – from focusing, to exercising, to sleeping.
In fact, results from independent experts at Royal Holloway at the University of London showed that doppel can actually double a person’s focus and improve alertness and reaction times, compared with a placebo group.
That’s led doppel to winning a host of awards – including the 2014 Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise, the 2015 Pitch at the Palace People’s Choice Award, and the 2015 IC Tomorrow Wearables Innovation Competition.
It was also shortlisted on the 2015 Wearable Startup of the Year and named as one of London Innovators’ top five products for 2015.
Team Turquoise’s Kickstarter campaign for the doppel prototype was also a success, with the device exceeding its funding goal and raising £111,194 ($173,686). It means the designers can now move on with a consumer-ready model.
It’s working with Disney on testing, with mass production expected to begin in November, and shipping in April 2016.