A new gadget promises to keep you in a happy breathing place and let you know when you’re not. Developed by 22-year-old mechanical engineer and yoga teacher, Cindy Gu, the device works like a belt wrapped around your abdomen that tracks your breathing patterns thanks to the help of sci-fi, er, technology. Gu originally created the smart belt to help with her own breathing, but quickly realized it could be useful for others.
“Breathing’s a vital practice in yoga meditation but it also has a significant impact on our mood, emotions and stress levels, so that led me to design a device to help other people breathe better,” Gu told MSN News.
How does it work? The belt has a sensor and special fabric that helps detect the expansion and contraction of the lower abdomen. Paired with a mobile app, the doohickey (there’s not official catchy name yet) collects and tracks data. “The machine learns it and is able to understand the user’s breathing pattern and when there are irregularities in that pattern, that’s when the device will signal to the user with a haptic feedback,” Gu says.
So when you start holding your breath or breathing shallowly, for instance, the belt gives you a zing! Just a little vibration, don’t worry. Sort of like a tight pair of jeans that talks back.
Do we really need a device to remind us to breathe? With our modern lives of multitasking and Pokemon hunting, apparently we do. Shock therapy, the new conscious living.
Gu is hoping her device will help people ease stress and be healthier as a result. With a few startup contests under her smart belt, she is currently shopping for manufacturers and hopes the breathing thingamabob will be available for purchase by December of 2017.
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