The Screen-Free NOWATCH "Awareable" Aims to Track and Manage Your Stress Levels

Communicating via vibrations and a companion app, this BLE-connected device uses EDA and PPA sensors to track stress levels.

Wearable health-monitoring specialist NOWATCH has promised to launch a screen-free smartwatch, developed in partnership with Philips, which it claims can not only estimate the wearer's stress levels but help to bring them down too.

"People are more stressed than ever and need simple but powerful solutions that help them stay mindful of their emotions and health," claims NOWATCH chief executive and co-founder Hylke Muntinga. :NOWATCH is easy to use so it doesn't become another distraction or obstacle for the wearer, and is a powerful tool to help people stay grounded in the present and achieve well-being. NOWATCH reminds us all there’s no time like the present and there is only now."

Launching at CES this week, the NOWATCH is a screen-free "awareable" for stress management. (📹: NOWATCH)

While worn as a watch, NOWATCH lacks a display — though has an interchangeable gemstone face in its place — and communicates with the wearer through vibrations. A electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor from Philips monitors the skin conductance of the wearer and uses it to estimate stress levels — learning as it goes to spot patterns and predict the peak "cognitive zone" when the wearer's brain is likely to be working at its best.

Other sensors in the device include a red and green photoplethysmography (PPA) sensor for heart-rate monitoring, an accelerometer, temperature sensor, and barometer. A Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio connects the NOWATCH to the user's smartphone where readings can be tracked — and where timestamped data, logged through a press of the device's crown, can be used to create a "stress fingerprint." The app also offers breathing exercises and lifestyle recommendations for stress reduction, its creators claim.

The NOWATCH is launching at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, with prices starting at $369 — rising to $499 when the show is over. Those buying during CES will also benefit from a free lifetime subscription to the company's software updates, normally priced from $6 a month for a three-year contract.

More information is available on the NOWATCH website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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