Local startup creates app aimed to help reduce stress

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
EMBED <>More Videos

Could you use a little calming influence in your life? Well, a new device developed in the Bay Area is designed to put you in a less stressful place.

Could you use a little calming influence in your life? A new device developed in the Bay Area is designed to put you in a less stressful place.

Many people who practice yoga will tell you about its power to center the mind and spirit, while others might find the same balance through exercise. But now, a Bay Area startup believes it can help busy workers find that same calming nirvana through smartphones.

"It's really about seeing their state of mind, being more aware of their state of mind. I mean at the end of the day, breathing is just a tool," Spire CEO Neema Moraveji said.

Moraveji is the creator of Spire, a smartphone app that focuses on your breathing as a way to tap into your emotional state. First, users snap a small sensor onto their bra or waistbands. The sensor then feeds data on your breathing patterns to the app, which interprets them using special algorithms.

"We used the color purple to represent focus because it's got a lot of energy to it, we use blue for relaxed and red for tense," Moraveji said.

The program is designed to detect patterns that indicate stress, such as shallower faster breathing. Alerts can prompt users to, in essence, take a breath or maybe a short walk. He says the goal for most people is to stay in a middle zone.

"Most interestingly, we find that at work you don't really want to be relaxed, you don't want to be tense. What do you want? Focus," Moraveji said.

Snapshots of time are represented as pyramids to give users a look at what portions of their day are spent being stressed out versus mellowed out. With enough practice, the creators of Spire believe users will be able to control the tempo of their breathing and their state of mind.

"Hey, if you're aware of your state of mind and you're able to control your state of mind, that means you're able to waste less time at work, able to focus on what you need to do," Moraveji said.

The price of more peaceful breathing is about $150. To find out more information, click here.

Written and produced by Tim Didion