October 30, 2013
Monitor Stress Levels With New Smart Wristband From Airo
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Airo, a new addition to the smart wearables market, was introduced earlier this week and takes activity monitoring a step further. The newly developed wristband measures exercise, sleep, nutrition and, apart from other recent smart wearables on the market, stress.
While a number of comparable fitness-monitoring bands measure activity, sleep and even nutrition to some degree, the Airo wristband is able to determine stress levels based on heart rate. The band also looks at nutrition based on wavelengths of light in the bloodstream, which is more advanced than other monitors on the market -- some of which require the user to alert the monitor to food intake manually.
"We built Airo to help people become more proactive about their health. By aggregating data around the four pillars of health, Airo notices patterns in your behavior and tells you what you can do, each day, to live a healthier life," said Abhilash Jayakumar, co-founder and CEO of Airo Health, in a corporate statement. "We're excited about giving people the ability to take control of their health in a way that has never before been possible."
The four pillars identified by Airo Health's Jayakumar are nutrition, stress, exercise and sleep. The Airo wristband approaches the four pillars differently than other wristbands in the wearables market.
As far as monitoring nutrition, Airo Health said the wristband is able to detect metabolites as they are released during and after eating. By looking at the bloodstream, Airo is able to measure caloric intake and is also able to gather data on the quality of the meal consumed. Using the data, Airo is also able to provide recommendations on ways to improve nutrition.
Airo has an advantage in the nutrition category over comparable devices already on the market. The Fitbit Force, which was recently announced by Fitbit and will sell for $129, requires users to manually enter meals as well as certain exercises, reports Business Insider.
Measurement of stress is one feature that offers the Airo wristband a distinction over other devices on the market as well. The Airo uses heart rate variability (HRV) to monitor micro-fluctuations in stress throughout the day. Airo notifies users when stress levels cross a personal threshold. The monitor also offers recommendations -- most likely via a website -- to help the user take steps to help recover from stress.
Exercise, however, is where the wearable device market excels. The Airo approaches this type of measurement differently, however. Instead of tracking steps, the device monitors daily exertion through heart rate and caloric burn. Airo takes this data and metrics to detect how intense the activity has been and will also check to see how the body has recovered from activity over the course of a few days.
Sleep is somewhat of a new feature on several wearable devices. The Airo wristband, following the path, works as a sleep monitor. It looks at the autonomic nervous system to identify sleep cycles. It recognizes when the body is in deep sleep, light sleep and REM sleep, and then calculates how much of a user's night was restorative.
The newly announced Airo wristband is produced by Ontario, Canada-based Airo Health. The band is expected to become available in the fall of 2014 and the company is currently taking pre-orders for $149, increasing to $199 when the device is launched.
While its entry isn't expected until fall, the Airo wristband is part of an emerging market of wearable technology that is experiencing rapid growth. A recent report from Juniper Research forecasts the wearable device market to reach $19 billion by 2018. The Airo wristband, which won't be released for another year, will contribute to the industry, helping to reach those sales numbers.