The Rise of Well-Tech

October 3rd, 2016

You probably have heard of fitbit, the piece of wearable tech (a bracelet to be precise) which measures all things physical. Steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned. All of these things are tracked, monitored and stored, and linked to an iPhone for constant analysis by the wearer. That however, is only the beginning of the biometric phenomenon we are seeing in the world of wearable technology.

Here at Fashionista we are pretty excited about Zenta, London-based tech firm Vinaya’s latest creation. Zenta is a new biometric bracelet that tracks your emotions. On first glance, it looks more glamorous than a fitbit. It does all the things a fitbit does, with additional sensors to measure things like skin temperature, galvanic skin response and heart rate variability. With those credentials alone, Zenta is sure to be a hit with the increasingly health-conscious, image-conscious consumer. But Zenta is not trying to be just another fitness band.

zentaCourtesy of Wareable and Zenta

With the rise of wearable tech also came a disparity. Women did not adopt wearable tech nearly as much as men. Though the gap has now closed, it sparked a multi phased research project by the strategy team at Saatchi&Saatchi Wellness (SSW). In short, SSW found that women consider holistic, emotional and physical “wellness” more important than a more physical based (and more easily measureable) “health.” They want to know how “well” they are, and they don’t believe that measuring your physical output necessarily achieves that. The study indicates that the majority of women felt personal relationships and connections were a huge source of “wellness.” Whether these were relationships with friends and family, or seeking advice from other women on social media, women believed that this emotional element was key to their overall wellbeing. A fitbit measuring the calories consumed is an indication of health, but it is not enough to achieve “wellness”. Enter Zenta and the age of “well-tech.”

Zenta pulls together its biometric data with a small amount of “subjective user input” and creates a wearer’s own emotional profile. Clever enough to analyse a wearer’s data and “learn over time”, Zenta will tell wearers what to do (“go to that Pilates class straight after work, it calms you down”) and what not to do (“don’t call your mum on a Monday, it will stress you out”). The aim of Zenta is to give wearers a guide to their emotional state in real time, as well as organise their lives autonomously, based on the data it collects. If Zenta is able to promote the social and emotional components of “wellness”, it may be that the rise of well-tech has a far more receptive worldwide market.

It looks like the success of Zenta will ultimately rely on its ability to define and promote the social and emotional components of “wellness”, as well as its underlying AI technology. Vinaya says Zenta is developing technology that has been created based on over a decade of research into biofeedback and emotions and its work with universities and institutions. Set to be ready for shipping by April 2017, it will be interesting to see whether Zenta is able to live up to its hype.



By: Rose Falconer
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