The Spire Health Tag wants to fade into the background

San Francisco-based startup Spire is launching a small stick-on wearable that provides real-time guidance for sleep, stress, heart rate and daily activity.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

Wearable technology suffers from a high abandonment rate and a significant portion of purchases end up in drawers after about six months. The Spire Health Tag is different from most activity trackers on the market in that it attaches to clothes you put on every day. The idea here is to provide a seamless experience so you do not need to worry about battery life, maintenance, or even to put it on! All you have to do is remember to get dressed in the morning.

Here is how it works. You get a pack of Spire Health Tags and stick them onto clothes you wear the most. This could be anything from your bra, to undies, gym shorts and pants. Once you attach a tag to your clothing, you can forget about it. The water-proof wrapping means the tags can go through the washer and dryer cycle and they sport a nonreplaceable internal coin cell battery that lasts nearly two years.

Essential reading: Review – check in with your breath, boost your well-being with Spire

The Health Tags build on Spire’s hugely successful first product called the Spire Stone. Created by a team of scientists at Stanford and winner of the 2014 National Hewitt Design Award, this is a personal breathing sensor. Unlike exercise-oriented fitness gadgets, it tracks respiration patterns and body movements to provide advice geared to emotional and cognitive well-being. Used in-practice by over a thousand healthcare professionals worldwide, Spire has grossed over $8M and is one of the only wearables available in Apple Stores.

The second generation Spire Health Tag measures metrics such as activity, sleep, heart rate and heart rate variability. Just like the original device, to help you manage stress the little gadget also measures your breathing.

The accompanying smartphone app provides users with personalised insights based on their goals. To start off, Spire is introducing three programmes: Sleep better; Stay active and Reduce tension. Each of these will dish out personalised insights and actionable suggestions to help improve health outcomes.

“Everyone has experienced that swing of emotions from anticipation to dulled disappointment to apathy when a new wearable doesn’t fulfill its promises. The behavior change simply isn’t worth it,” said Jonathan Palley, co-founder and CEO of Spire.

“We created Spire Health Tag with the belief that the health wearable should be completely invisible unless it has something important to tell you in-the-moment. Only by making the wearable disappear can the industry drive better outcomes.”

The best technology is invisible and this the road we’re going down. The tags essentially offer an entirely new approach to activity tracking, from the way they are worn to how you interact with them.

The Spire Health Tag is available for pre-order in packs of 3 ($99), 8 ($199) and 15 ($299). You can pick them up at www.spire.io. The company will also offer a discount on replacement tags.

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