Product review of Spire-a Quantified Self Device which measures breath to increase mindfulness

Today I am reviewing a wellness gadget / device called Spire which measures your activities like steps, walked distance, burned calories like other fitness trackers but it is very unique when tracking breath and analyzing tension, calmness and focus times.

As you can see on this pictures it comes with a beautifully designed wireless charging plate and a USB cable, also a free slot to charge another USB-device. Spire can be worn on a belt or bra. I am using it now since 3 months and quality is very high which means: bluetooth connection to the iOS App (Android is under development) is very stable, battery lasts minimum 5 days and I don’t notice it while wearing on my belt. Congratulations to the Spire time for an excellent complete redesign of the iOS-App which was launched June 28th!

Now I am going to coverage the most important usage scenarios for me:

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Measure your breath in Real Time

In the landing page of the App I can easily see how often I breath per minute. 11.5 is very relaxed and calm (until 15 BPM). “Focus” is defined as 15-19 BPM and “Tense” is > 19 BPM. Really helpful insights if I am currently in a certain situation (e.g. phone conference) and see how it changes depending on my activity (listening vs presenting), engaged vs disengaged or topic (interesting / boring)
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Get a Boost when you are feeling tense

Spire knows when you  are tense and can push a notification alert to your smartphone (if you want) and recommend an exercise. This can be a calmness or meditation exercise around breathing (from well-known teachers like Deepak Chopra and Thich Nhat Hanh) or freshness and productivity booster for work.  I have tried all exercise and really enjoyed the style. Very nice voices, short exercises which are easy to integrate into everyday life (around 3 minutes) and they bring me directly back into calmness and  more mindful and present state.

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History of your week: Breathing and Activity Pattern

Spire App also offers a weekly review where you can see how calm, focused and tense you were. Easily it can be switched between activity and breath. That certain Wednesday was a successful working day because I wasn`t stressed, had more than 1 hour of calmness and relaxation and more than 2 hours of full focus time.

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I can also drill down and find out where I was in a tense state. So yesterday for example I had a tense situation at 5:57pm at our Kindergarten Festival. It started to rain and I was in a rush helping to move kids and stuff inside.

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Summary

Spire is an excellent gadget for Quantified Self of measuring calmness (should I rather say: Quantified Selflessness?), focus time and tension additional to activity tracking of steps and distances. 129.95 US$ are not too much because it is currently the only device in this price range and market segment which can track your breath. Stanford University’s Calming Technology Lab.  was involved in the R&D of this beautiful product. I find it very useful if you really change your daily habits and that is the most difficult thing: wear Spire everyday and make the exercise without skipping if the alert notification pops up. Exercises are great and helpful but it is is so easy to agree to its effectiveness without doing it. The magic is not inside the device, it is in your daily practise and your personal way to become more mindful and know what is good for you and not. It can help to discover patterns of chronical stress that you were not aware of. That is maybe the most important use case.

If you understand German, you also might want to watch my son`s review on Youtube