The most prominent complaint about wearables, aside from battery life woes, has consistently been about design. Many are clunky, with “unisex” designs clearly code for “masculine” and with function emphasized over form. Bellabeat wants to change that.
The wearable, which is built for women to monitor their health, is the Leaf, a small piece of jewelry that tracks all the basic fitness metrics, while also keeping tabs on stress levels, sleep quality, women’s reproductive cycles, and potentially more through a combination of smart algorithms that interpret data from the accelerometer, the app itself, and medical research.
“The idea is to offer meaningful insight into your health and not just broad data,” said Bellabeat co-founder Urška Sršen. “It’s a holistic approach to self-tracking — I think it’s just as important to track your physical progress and health as it is your mental health.”
The original Leaf is a small, leaf-shaped piece of pale wood with a stainless steel metal design on top, which allows it to be worn as a clip on your lapel, a bracelet on your wrist, or a pendant in a necklace. The device also is intended to help wearers manage their stress levels. When the Leaf sees that you’re stressing out, it can vibrate to let you know to calm down. Sršen says that there will be content in the app to let you know how to reduce stress levels with breathing exercises and tips on how to be more relaxed. The app will also help you identify patterns in stress levels.
“Our goal is to train you how to utilize the data you’re getting through the app instead of just ‘I did my steps, what now?’” Sršen said. ”We’re trying to help you understand different aspects of your health, not just trying to get you to jog every day. We’re not just for a 23-year-old in yoga pants — we’re for everyone who wants to know a bit more about their health.”
The Leaf is expanding its capabilities, but its design aesthetic, 6-month battery life, and competitive price tag make it an appealing, affordable choice for women looking to track their total health in a more meaningful way. The Leaf is available for purchase, with the smartphone app forthcoming.
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