Emotion Tracking Aims To Bring New Meaning To The Wearable Industry

Emotion Tracking Aims To Bring New Meaning To The Wearable Industry

A research-design lab has announced wristband that explores intersection of mind and body

Charlie Stephens
  • 1 june 2016

Wearables are facilitating healthier lives by tracking our steps and calories, but if it’s a balanced lifestyle we seek, then physical activity is just one part of the equation. To fill the void, research lab and design studio Vinaya has announced Zenta, the world’s first biometric smart wristband for emotional wellbeing. A fashion statement and monitoring software in one, the product looks to be the first to market with a holistic new approach to mindful technology.

To first understand its significance, PSFK spoke with Vinaya founder Kate Unsworth about the new product and the thinking behind it. An evolution of Vinaya’s first product line Altruis, the product will be a means of understanding our inner selves—a technology for navigating and connecting with the complexities of our emotional lives.


By measuring physiological and psychological triggers of stress, it will help us understand when and why we’re happy. It will also act as a preventative tool—just as activity trackers keep us from losing control of our bodies, Zenta will help us keep tabs on our feelings and understand if we start to head down a dark path.

A product like this has never been entirely developed—partly due to the processing power required, and also because sensors have not been accurate enough until now. The sensors are more exact than the Apple watch, says Unsworth. But Zenta’s software integration and elegant design further differentiate it from other devices.

The wristband will track cues such as heart rate variability, electrodermal activity and blood oxygen levels, and then cross-reference this information with data collected from your smartphone such as social media activity, calendar events, emails, and even location history.

Using machine-learning algorithms, the band will then be able to approximate your happiness, stress, activity and productivity levels and display them simply and intuitively.

ZENTA emotion tracking

But since each of us respond to our emotions in different ways and intensities, there is a high degree of subjectivity that comes with this task.

At first, users will complete an initial survey and a subsequent baselining period in which data will be accumulated to determine user personality profiles. Once Zenta gets to know your emotional cues and trigger, the vision is “that you hit this point where you don’t have to interact with the product at all, it just understands your physiological responses.”

The announcement of Zenta also indicates a new era in wellness and health tracking. Apple’s recent acquisition of sentiment analysis company Emotient, and product debuts at CES, indicate the same.

“We are predicting that in January 2017, one of the biggest trends that we’ll see is emotion technology and emotion tracking. The technology is finally there and the consumer is finally ready to adopt it.”

emotion tracking
Yet no matter how advanced technology gets, the value of self-reliance and the wonder that comes with “discovering ourselves” cannot be replaced.

“What we can do is help educate you about your own life, provide you with data about things that you wouldn’t otherwise have the ability to see, provide it in a user friendly and intuitive way, and give you some insight into your own life so that you can decide how to go about structuring your life to improve upon those metrics.”

While other products and applications might take a more “medical” approach of prescribing solutions to your problems, Vinaya wants you to “feel, discover, evolve, and find your Zenta.”


+activity trackers
+biometric smart wristband
+emotion tracking

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