Changing how you feel with technology

Posted by: Dawn Schell on avril 18, 2016 3:57

Wearable technology gets more interesting all the time.  I’ve talked about all sorts of devices from ones we can wear that track our fitness/health goals to ones that show us our mood state.   Next up for discussion is wearable technology that can change our mood.

Yup.  That’s right.  Don’t like how you are feeling?  Press this button and change it.

Okay – it’s not actually that simple.  Nor do these technological devices cover the whole range of human emotion.   What they do alter is our feelings of alertness/energy and calm.

doppel  [1] is not yet on the market though it has been in development for the past three years.  doppel  makers say the device “works with your body’s natural response to rhythm to change how you feel”. It looks like a watch and the principle is you will feel a vibration or pulse against your wrist that then can change your emotional state.

This level of vibration is set by you.  The doppel wristband is connected to an app that allows you to monitor your resting heart rate and then you control whether you want the heart-beat like vibration on doppel  to go faster or slower.  “A fast rhythm helps you to feel more alert and a slower rhythm helps you to feel calm”.

A study of the effects of doppel on alertness was done by Royal Holloway, University of London.[2] The investigators state “Overall, the observed results suggest that doppel use may have a tangible effect on behavioral performance as well as subjective experience during task performance”.  Interesting.   I look forward to seeing more research on this.

The creators say that doppel is the next step in wearable technology.  “By working with your body to change how you feel, instead of simply monitoring, doppel brings together well-being, mindfulness and technology”.

Thync[3] is similar to doppel in principle though you wear it on your head.   The creators of Thync say that it “works by signaling nerves on the head and neck to act on the brain’s adrenaline system. These nerves then activate your body’s natural state of energy or calm”.    This device uses what they refer to as “vibes”, which are “low energy waveforms that stimulate nerves on your head and neck”.   You can choose Energy or Calm vibes.

Thync says their team of neuroscientists and engineers have done years of clinical research on this process.  You can also read reviews from Thync users on their website.  Should you wish to check it out you can purchase one for $200US.

As with all other wearable technologies I can see many potential uses for our clients and I also have many questions about them.  For example, is there a benefit to clients if they learn to meditate and calm their own minds rather than rely on a device to send signals to their body?   Or does it make any difference if the outcome is that people feel calmer, less anxious?

Lots to think about here!

[1] http://www.doppel.london/

[2]http://static1.squarespace.com/static/54aff119e4b0a7c65b7a4750/t/568ed5954bf118d869797323/1452201370648/Investigating+the+Effect+of+doppel+on+Alertness+%282%29.pdf

[3] http://www.thync.com/

Dawn M. Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate counsellor with Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.  http://www.therapyonline.ca




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

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