It is becoming more and more difficult to stand out against the crowded market for activity trackers and smartwatches. Simply counting, steps, distance, calories and heart rate is not enough to distinguish yourself from the pack. This is where a company called HabitAware comes in with a refreshing new idea.
Liv is a new type of bracelet that is designed to help you become aware of subconscious behaviors that are physical movements of the hands, repetitive and focused on the body. The device helps you break bad habits by interrupting you with a vibration in the midst of doing whatever it is you want to stop doing. The bracelet was unveiled earlier this week at the HAX hardware accelerators biannual demo day in San Francisco.
Aneela Idnani Kumar and her husband Sameer started the company from one of the founder’s personal challenges. In Aneela’s case, obsessive eyelash and eyebrow plucking.
“I hadn’t had eyebrows since I was a teen,” said Aneela.
“Several years into my marriage, I showed my husband what I looked like without my eyebrow makeup on, and we decided to build something to help me and others who have this problem.”
The company estimates that 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from some form of repetitive, body-focused behaviour. Beyond hair pulling, kids and adults alike struggle with nail biting, skin picking and thumb sucking.
Liv contains sophisticated motion sensors that monitor a wearer’s activity. To start using the device you need to perform a one time calibration process by performing the action you would like to stop. The bracelet records this motion, and from that point on alerts you every every time you repeat that action. The wearable can be trained to monitor for up to 8 unwanted behaviours.
The data is communicated via Bluetooth to the accompanying smartphone app, which will provide you a detailed visualisation of your behaviour, track your progress, identify your triggers and make real-world suggestion to help you overcome your bad habits. For example, if particularly habit-prone time of day is coming up the app may suggest you do something to keep your hands busy.
The wearable features a standard micro-USB charging cable and takes 2 hours to charge. The battery will keep going for a day, so you will need to make charging Liv a habit!
HabitAware is currently taking pre-orders at a discounted price. You can choose between the Sporty version in black, the Stylish version with a brown leather band and a kids version. The device will eventually retail at a suggested price of around $280.
If you only use one hand when engaging in unwanted behaviour, you can save a bit of money by opting for a single LIV bracelet at about half that price. The Liv Smart Bracelet is expected to go into production in a few months, and ship by the end of this year to the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe and Australia.