Watch Monitors Stress Levels

Watch Monitors Stress Levels

New technology monitors autonomic nervous system, identifying changes and soothing its wearer.

John Pugh, BI
  • 28 october 2012

If you’re stressed, you’re not alone — according to Robert Goldberg, co-founder of Neumitra, over 40 million Americans have been diagnosed with clinical anxiety and 200,000 prescriptions are written every year for sedative drugs. The “stress epidemic” is also more deadly than American warfare, claiming more members of the armed forces who suffer from PTSD than combat each year. While the solution seems as simple as reducing stress, that’s often not an option and many times we can be under stress without realizing it.

Five neuroscientists from MIT, who certainly are no strangers to stress and anxiety, used their knowledge of how stress affects the body to create a prototype wrist watch called Bandu, which has sensors that monitor output from the autonomic nervous system (perspiration, respiration and heart rate) and movement to determine when an individual is experiencing heightened levels of anxiety. When Bandu detects bodily stress, it flashes a message that instructs wearers to slow down and take a break, suggesting actions such as “call a loved one” or “take 5 deep breaths.” It can also be customized to play a specific song or display a personal message. All of this information is monitored and recorded onto an associated app on your smartphone, as well as being sent to the creator’s lab, Neumitra. Over time, the watch will sense which relaxation techniques work best for the individual and better its responses.

To clarify, there are many types of stress and to an extent, stress is good for us. It motivates people to do things and can save lives in a  fight-or-flight situation. Many business professionals feed off of stress and report that they work better with it; however, only temporary stress is healthy. Long-term stress shrinks the hippocampus in the brain and enlarges the amygdala, restricts blood flow to the body’s core, away from its extremities and reeks havoc on the immune system. Stress also begins to erode both long and short-term memory, attention to detail and overall health.

Neumitra hopes that Bandu can help the collective good, learning  more about what triggers stress and effective calming methods, as well as bodily responses. Goldberg stressed that device will remain a separate entity from the body, so that users can personally monitor and control their actions and responses, using it as a daily device. The app stores the user’s output records, as well as the controls for messages, music, and feedback. It even uses GPS to track geographically where people were stressed and allows them to draw their own conclusions about the significance of the location.

Bandu has already secured seed money from Yahoo and Boston Scientific, as well as winning the DEMO God award at the DEMO Conference and is participating in Rock Health, a first seed accelerator for digital start-ups. Neumitra is holding a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo for an initial goal of $250,000 for its first production round. Those interested can donate to the cause and even receive a device at and above the $189 mark.


Images via Vimeo (screenshots)

PSFK has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to bring you a steady stream of inspiring news and ideas in the health and wellness space. Once each week, we will be posting an article on If you would like to gain access to the full stream of content, please check out Boehringer Ingelheim’s Facebook page, where they are publishing a regular stream of inspiring and informative content.


Zagat's Cafe Offers Tiny Replicas Of Classic NYC Dishes

Experiential Marketing
Travel Today

Mercedes Reveals Dazzle-Free LED Headlights

Digital Light offers great precision with a resolution of over two million pixels

Product Launch Today

Nissan Is Testing A Digital Car Sharing Program In Europe

Nissan plans to launch their new service in Paris sometime this year to trial the profile-matching service


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail 2017

See All
Social Media Today

Your Favorite Tweets Are Now Wearable

This temporary tattoo allows fans to wear their most favorite moments from the social platform

Health Today

This Mirror Tracks Your Dark Circles And Fine Lines

HiMirror is a device snaps a photo of your face every day to provide feedback on how to care for your skin

Sustainability Today

Biodegradable Furniture Made From Pine Needles Could Be The Next Phase Of Sustainable Living

Premiering at Dutch Design Week 2016, the collection fully utilizes an often wasted material

Retail Today

Creative Director: Navigating The New World Of Founder-Brands

Richard Smith, Creative Director at Sullivan, explains how visionaries like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg approach their branding and why it’s important to apply brand thinking to founders’ products

Syndicated Today

Madrid's 'Robin Hood' Cafe Charge The Rich To Feed The Poor

The charity restaurant makes money from customers by day to offer homeless people meals at night


Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

VP: Why Messaging Apps Are Issuing In A New Era Of Commerce

Matt Johnson discusses how mobile messaging commerce is creating a different modality for interaction between retailers and consumers

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Technology Today

Modular System Lets Musicians Create Their Own MIDI Controllers

Mine is a customizable music-maker that lets people design their most ideal layout

USA Today

Amazon Launches Cashier-Free Store For Ultimate Efficiency

The retailer is looking to make shopping even faster by letting customers instantly pay as they walk out the door

Augmented & Virtual Reality Today

Marble-Like Mini-Worlds Invade Miami Art Week And Your Mobile Screen

The gallery world's sphere of influence seems to be expanding into the realm of Pokémon Go—why that's a good thing

Health Today

A 'USB Stick' That Can Detect HIV Levels

The simple device developed at Imperial College London measures viral load in less than 30 minutes

Customer Retention Today

Crafting The Personalized Retail Experience

Marriott International's Christopher Baer shares insights into how the hospitality company is strategizing customer service


Conference Built Around Report Launch

Children Today

Experience The White House In Augmented Reality Using A $1 Bill

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is an AR app designed to help people learn about the history and significance of the United State's capital building

Travel Today

Portable Computer Monitor Opens Up Like An Umbrella For Travelers

This mobile screen and projector means work can go anywhere and still feel like working from home

Food Today

Starbucks Is Selling An Automated Temperature-Setting Mug

For those looking to keep their coffee hot on their winter commutes, the coffee chain has created a device that keeps beverages exactly at their desire temperature

No search results found.