About this project
"The W/Me project is different from most activity tracking in that it takes a very specific goal of managing breathing and describing a user’s mental state."
"Man, I could really use some technology like this for those times when it feels hard to breathe."
"Having that kind of instant data about your inner self may seem eerily futuristic, but there's clearly huge potential here..."
"With its state-of-the-art sensors and holistic approach to wellness, W/Me could represent the next wave of the quantified self movement."
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THE FIRST VIDEO
THE WHY: IMPROVING YOURSELF STARTS FROM KNOWING YOURSELF
Our team believes that wearable devices should be more than gadgets. We think that they should improve your quality of life. With this in mind, we developed W/Me.
W/Me is a one-of-a-kind wearable device. It can monitor your body's autonomic nervous system or ANS for short. The ANS is part of the peripheral nervous system, acting as a subconscious control system for your body. Instead of monitoring individual items such as heart rate or blood pressure, we have developed a unique device that can monitor your body as a system and help the user improve his/her health in a more effective way. It can also do the other cool stuff that we can't forget about in our daily lives.
THE HOW: DEVELOPING OUR VISION INTO REALITY
We use a medical-grade sensor that has the ability to capture the electrical impulses relayed from the sinoatrial (SA) node, a group of specialized cells in the right atrium. Coupled with our proprietary algorithm, it can decode the heart rate variability, map out your autonomic nervous system, and indicate your mental state at any given moment.
Working with medical professionals, we studied how guided, rhythmic breathing can influence the ANS. We then developed an app that can progressively integrate rhythmic breathing into your lifestyle.
THE WHAT: A WEARABLE DEVICE THAT HAS A UNIQUE, ERGONOMIC DESIGN
W/Me is more than a wearable gadget. It is an advanced sensor that works with our proprietary algorithm on your smartphone to guide your breathing and improve your lifestyle. W/Me also works as your personal assistant to alert and help you in your daily life.
Ergonomics is high on our priority list. We made sure that our wristband would be comfortable for people of all sizes in any situation. The patented crescent band is designed to self-adjust to multiple wrist sizes for a snug and comfortable fit. We evaluated numerous shapes, materials, and coatings to avoid pressure points along the wrist. It is also thin enough so as not to be intrusive, especially when typing.
THE LIFE SPECTRUM ANALYZER
The core of W/Me resides in the special sensor we developed called the life spectrum analyzer (LSA). We started with the idea that we wanted to go beyond typical analytics such as heart beats per minute and estimated calories burned. In order to provide analysis on mental state, mental agility, and breathing, a more-sensitive solution is required.
Traditionally, AgCl jelly needs to be smeared on electrodes to measure the minute electrical signals caused by the heart muscle depolarization during a heartbeat. We developed a dry conduction electrode (patent pending) that involves a multi-stage plating process to boost conductivity and increase comfort and longevity of the sensor. Coupled with instrumentation amplifiers, a filter chain, a precision analog-to-digital converter, and a digital signal processor,the original sub-microvolt signals can processed and used to provide useful data.
Our app can use the LSA to map out your subconscious mental state, whether it be passive, excitable, pessimistic, or anxious.
The agility score indicates how capable your body is to adjust to the changes in your environment. The lower your score, the more susceptible you are to stress.
Working with researchers in the medical field, we have collected years of data and can infer the age of your ANS. Don't worry - if it's not where you hope, it can improve over time with the right lifestyle decisions and breathing practices.
Backed by years of medical research, we developed a coaching platform with 5 different levels and 1 programmable level for you to practice your abdominal breathing. Each level is defined by a different breathing rhythm. The higher the level, the slower and deeper your breathing needs to be. Our "fitness whale" Attu will interactively guide and encourage you. By following the rhythm of Attu, you can pace your breathing and complete the level that you feel most comfortable with. This virtual breathing coach will help improve your ANS agility.
We make it easy to keep track of your trends. With the history portion of our app, you can easily see your improvement over time.
OTHER COOL STUFF
W/Me will alert you via a non-intrusive vibration and lighting sequence to keep you in touch with life’s busy schedule.
- HEART RATE
The LSA sensors will keep tabs on your heart rate and make it available to you either on your wristband or on your phone with a touch of a button.
W/Me will notify you with non-intrusive vibration and lighting sequence to let you know when you have an incoming call, email, or text (coming soon).
- NEVER FORGET YOUR PHONE
We've all done it. W/Me will alert you if your phone is out of range.
- FIND YOUR PHONE
If you've lost your phone, we've got you covered. Just press the button on your wrist, and your phone will sound.
- FACEBOOK CHECK-IN
W/Me lets you check in on Facebook with a push of the mode button on the wristband.
- REMOTE CAMERA SHUTTER TRIGGER
We've built in a feature that lets you use the mode button on your W/Me as a remote camera trigger for your iOS device.
- W/Me CLOUD
We are working on a subscription-based platform that allows your data to be shared with a medical team to provide you with an in-depth analysis of what and how you are doing. We're still in the early development stages, so we'll simply leave it at that. Stay tuned!
- Adjustable wristband
- Width: 0.95 inch (24 mm)
- Weight: 1.38 oz (39 grams)
- Communication: Bluetooth 4.0
- Display: Dotted LED
- Battery Life: 7 days (average use)
- Charging: USB
- Operating Ambient Temperature: 32° - 95° F (0° - 35° C)
- Non-Operating Temperature: -4° - 113° F (20° - 45° C)
- iOS device with Bluetooth 4.0
iPad with Retina display
iPod touch 5th Generation
- Android device with Bluetooth 4.0 (coming soon)
Risks and challenges
Our team wants to assure you that we have done our due diligence to minimize the engineering and manufacturing risks. We have already completed our prototype and engineering builds. All our assembly fixtures have been tested and verified. We have secured our supply chain and are now ready for mass production. The last hurdle is to obtain the funding needed to secure the minimum order of materials; once we receive adequate funding, our suppliers can ship out the materials, and mass production can start. We have worked very hard to overcome the risks so you won't have to.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Based on our research, we believe the current size can fit most people. We specifically made our band the shape it is to accommodate for variance within a certain range. The material we selected is soft and flexible yet firm enough to hold W/Me in place without causing pressure points. The wrist circumference that the current size fits is under 17cm and bone width is under 6cm. We will use feedback given by our customers to develop more sizes.
Because we are launching with iOS as our initial platform, we followed the environmental requirements of iPhone as a base line. That is not to say our product can not exceed those requirements. We will update the final specification soon.
Most wearable fitness devices share the same core - accelerometer. In other words, they are a derivative of the pedometer. We understand that many of you enjoy the features the current market offerings have. We do too, but we realized, those sensors are already built into the phone and the right app can provide the same service without any additional hardware. What we created is very different, at the core of W/Me is the life spectrum analyzer. What we measure is completely different from the popular devices many of you have asked about. W/Me creates a new category. W/Me is not just a sensor it's a platform. The embedded breathing coach provides a solution to improve the status measured by the sensor. With built-in smartphone companion features, such as notification alerts, remote camera shutter trigger, etc., W/Me is the ultimate device that can improve your lifestyle.
We are launching this product with support to iOS devices first that can support Bluetooth 4.0 in software stack. We understand that the Android market is substantial and have no intentions of missing out on it. Although most of Android devices claimed BT 4.0 ready, it is just ready at chipset/driver level, since Android framework does not support Bluetooth Low Energy at the moment. Some Android device manufacturers such as Samsung do provide BT 4.0 features, but it is based on customized Low Energy stack and framework integration and such software API / library is not public. According to Google I/O event in May 15, Google will add BLE support in near future release, but the date is still open. Therefore, it is hard for us to pinpoint when we would be able to launch an app that will support the Android platform. Stay tuned!!
Our breathing function works as a rhythmic breathing coach. The life spectrum sensor can detect your breathing so the app is actually interactive.
W/Me is water resistant, it can stand up to most daily activities. However, we don't recommend submerging it under water.
Yes, it can tell the time, check out the OTHER COOL STUFF section to see what it looks like.
Heart rate variability (HRV) is the physiological phenomenon of variation in the time interval between heartbeats. It is measured by the variation in the beat-to-beat interval. Based on years of medical research and complex algorithms, a lot of information can be deduced from the heart rate variation. W/Me, lets you know how you are doing physically and emotionally
The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) controls the majority of our involuntary physical activities; heartbeat, blood pressure, body temperature, breathing and gastrointestinal motility. The ANS is located in the area of the brain called, medulla oblongata. It is the primary issue of preventative medicine to maintain the functionalities of ANS. The ANS is generally divided into two systems. the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
Similar to general health exams, using W/Me on a regular basis provides personal preventative care. The importance of regular maintenance and understanding your health ensures quality of life as well as reduces the cost of healthcare. The body shifts dynamically through different states, close monitoring gives you the ability to make informed decisions for your lifestyle. The medical industry uses HRV as a baseline measurement for a persons vitality. It is used as an indicator to measure a persons physical and mental state. HRV reflects our adaptability to stress. HRV is also an index used for biological aging. That is not to say we intend to replace traditional healthcare or medical devices. We created W/Me to bring social awareness to a critical component of a body that is often overlooked.
The autonomic nervous system controls the involuntary functions of the body, including breathing. Breathing is one of the few involuntary functions that can be controlled consciously. Rhythmic breathing is the first step to balance your body's inner workings Rhythmic breathing can facilitate a more harmonic heart rhythm and improve your ANS coordination.
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