I learned about this gadget from a Facebook ad. Normally, I scorn Facebook ads. Maybe my feedback to them about so many other completely irrelevant and uninteresting products is allowing them to hone in on what might truly appeal to me. Whatever the reason, I saw the ad for Spire and clicked on it. Which took me to this page. This minimalist gadget has an equally minimalist website to go with it. *
What does it do? You clip it on your belt or your bra, and it monitors your breathing. It reports its findings to an app on your iPhone (sorry, Android users, no app and no web app, so it’s maddenly iPhone only at this time). The goal is to obtain streaks of calm or focus. It also monitors activity (so, yes, it can, in theory, replace your step counter). It’s waterproof enough that forgetting to remove it from your clothing before washing is not a death sentence (I have not tested this claim). It also notes (an notifies you via vibration and an app notification if your breathing indicates tension. It identifies tension by sensing when your breathing patterns are elevated and erratic. This indicates times when your muscles may be rigid or your mind fragmented.
In addition to notifications (which include charts and graphs), the app has several ways to present the data it’s collecting. You can share it if you wish (I have felt no desire to do so). There are also things called “Boosts” to help you work on certain areas to improve your breath mindfullness. I have done a cursory exploration but would benefit from more study in this area. The app is gorgeous.
The Spire retails for $149. I managed to find it on sale on Amazon for $99 (last I looked, it was back up to regular price). I rated it a three of five stars on Amazon. Mostly because the battery life is abysmal. They claim 4-7 days, but I get three days at best from the battery before I need to charge it on its wireless charging plate. My fitbit easily lasts seven days between charges. Also, the only time I seem to be able to achieve focus is while I’m sleeping (it clips unobtrusively on the neckband of my sleep shirt and works very well there). Despite the poor rating I offered, I’m intrigued by this gadget. If you’re into personal gadgets and have an iPhone, give it a look.
*I copied and pasted both images from Spire’s site.