The Next Generation of Wearables

Wearable devices have become increasingly powerful in recent times.  Whilst many come in wristband and similar form, there are also a growing number that are built into the fabric of our clothing itself.  Suffice to say however that these ‘smart fabrics’ are not in any way mainstream yet, and Spire want to bridge the gap by making wearable devices sexier and more user friendly.

The company have recently launched the Spire Health Tag, which they claim is the smallest bionsensor in the industry.  It adheres to your clothes and provides a range of data around things like your sleep and daily activities.

They have already proven value in the field, with a study conducted in partnership with Stanford University revealing significant improvements in the mental health of employees at LinkedIn who had used the Spire Stone product.  The team now want to apply that rigor to a wider range of conditions.

“Everyone has experienced that swing of emotions from anticipation to dulled disappointment to apathy when a new wearable doesn’t fulfill its promises. The behavior change simply isn’t worth it,” they say. “We created Spire Health Tag with the belief that the health wearable should be completely invisible unless it has something important to tell you in-the-moment. Only by making the wearable disappear can the industry drive better outcomes.”

Connecting the dots

The Health Tag monitors your lifestyle and attempts to make smart inferences based upon a range of factors.  For instance, your sleep quality may be influenced by your activity levels or the amount of stress you’re suffering from.  As such, the app that accompanies the wearable might be able to provide you with some advice to help you sleep better, whether it’s exercise tips or even some meditation.

One of the obvious flaws of sensors built into the clothing is that you need multiple sets to account for the inevitable changes of clothing you will have during your week.  Spire attempt to get around this by providing a pack of 10 adhesive strips, which whilst undoubtedly  step in the right direction, I’m still inclined to think most people go through more than 10 items of clothing, especially when you consider clothing for exercise and sleep.

Each sensor is designed to last for approximately a year without needing to change battery, and is capable of measuring around 20 billion data points.  For instance, it can detect stress via things like your breathing or activity levels.

The team believe that their software is sufficiently smart to gain an individual insight into you and your behaviors, and therefore provide personalized advice just for you.

As with many of these devices, the proof of the pudding will really be in the effectiveness of the advice and insights the software will be capable of providing.  If Spire can master that then they may well be on to something.

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