Spire

Spire

5

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Tony Lea Reviewed By: Tony Lea on November, 30th -0001

The Spire is smooth, slim, and resembles a pebble — but it feels like having a lucky charm attached to your hip at all times. Spire is a wearable you clip to your belt loop (or bra) that tracks your breathing patterns and alerts you of any changes. Sharp changes in your breathing pattern are scientifically proven to have a direct correlation with your state of mind.

After trying so many breathing exercises in the past, I found the Spire to be a more effective way of monitoring and reducing my stress throughout the day.

The breath tracking device continuously collects raw sensor data and sends that data to your phone, which sends it to the cloud for analysis. It sends that data back to your phone, which flows into the Spire iOS app.

When you’re tense, the Spire breathing monitor alerts you and offers a selection of quick, guided meditations meant to calm your mind and body.

“The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.” Sydney J. Harris

I felt like the Spire was surprisingly accurate in determining my stress levels — but is it worth a purchase?

Spire: Features

Charging Dock And Battery Life

The wireless charging dock for the Spire is incredible. Charging only takes three to four hours, and it holds a charge for more than three days. Since you clip the Spire onto your belt loop (or bra), it doesn’t clash with your style.

Steps And Calorie Tracking

I had trouble trusting Spire here. On certain days, it claimed I walked 3,000 steps and burned more than 1,500 calories. I don’t buy that figure for a second. Not that this was a major reason for wanting to give Spire a shot, but when it comes to tracking calories, you’re better off with a more accurate device like the Fitbit Charge HR.

Durability

On day two of my Spire experience, I jumped into a pool. Three days later, I left it on a pair of jeans in the washing machine.

It’s easy to forget you’re even wearing the Spire, but luckily, the little thing is durable. It has already survived multiple days at Pacific Beach in San Diego.

Although it looks like a small rock, it felt soft against my hip, and I didn’t even notice I was wearing the it throughout the day.

Spire: Design

The Spire looks and feels high-end. The wireless charging station is beautiful enough to place on a marble countertop, but it can also take your bachelor pad digs to the next level.

What I love most about this wearable technology is that you’re not making a statement by wearing it. The Spire is completely invisible with normal clothes.

Spire: iOS App

The app offers a delightful user experience. It sends push notifications to your phone when it detects you’re stressed, and it also sends you friendly notifications when it detects calm streaks (when you’re in a restful or focused state of mind for more than 30 minutes).

Coming in at 300+MBs, the app itself is about the same size as the Facebook iOS App.

Screenshots of the Spire App:

Spire iOS App Screenshots

Spire: Customer Service

The most calming feature of owning a Spire is having live phone support and a one year warranty. Their website and blog offer tons of value. You can check out the Spire Blog or Spire.io for more info.

These are a few articles on the Spire Blog I found especially useful:

  1. Making Healthy Eating a Reality
  2. How to Balance Work And Health
  3. How to Feel a Calm Streak While Wearing Spire

The Science Behind Spire

Spire uses research from Stanford University’s Calming Technology Lab. Their mission was simple: to allow people to understand their state of mind, and to make wearing a belt clip that’s tracking sensor data cool.

How Does Spire Sense Your Breathing?

When you breathe correctly, your belly expands fully upon inhale, and deflates upon exhale. A symphony of tiny sensors in the Spire track this difference.

Here’s how Spire and the Spire iOS app work:

  1. Spire collects raw sensor data, tracking your average respiratory rate
  2. It sends this data to your phone, and your phone sends it to the cloud
  3. The cloud analyzes this data and sends it to the Spire iOS app
  4. The Spire iOS app alerts you when it detects abnormalities in your breathing patterns

Science Behind Spire

Interview With Wearable Zone Data Analyst

According to Charles S., “The raw data collected by Spire's internal accelerometer is ultimately analyzed and modeled to look similar to an oscillating sine wave, whose shape changes in rapid response to breathing patterns. I think Stanford is collecting some truly amazing and inspiring data. Data captured with a Spire is close enough to that of a medical respiratory device. I would buy one myself.”

Spire Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Flawless setup on iPhone 6s (setup in minutes, and it automatically paired with my phone)
  • Machine washable, waterproof, and ocean friendly
  • Spire’s live support is top-notch
  • It motivates me to beat the app/device — no one is telling me I’m stressed, except for me!

Cons

  • Charger requires a PC/Mac or existing iPhone wall charger
  • I received breathing notifications that I seemed stressed when I didn’t have the device connected, I checked the app settings to make sure it didn’t have camera access and was reading my facial expressions
  • The device can get slightly warm after charging, and is slightly uncomfortable on the skin

My experience testing the Spire breathing and meditation wearable was truly serene. This device is simple, subtle, and doesn’t clash with your style.

Other Useful Spire Links:

About Spire | Spire User Manual | The Science Behind Spire

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