The creator of Tinder's most recent project is a ring for measuring mental wellness.

 The creator of Tinder's most recent project is a ring for measuring mental wellness.


I'm not an expert in branding. I do see, though, that calling a product "Happy Ring" creates some preconceived notions. A delicate subject, mental health should not be taken lightly. Generally speaking, it's best to steer clear of anything that makes you feel better without the necessary talk therapy and, possibly, medicines. No wearable will ever be able to take its place, at least not in our lifetimes.

Of course, a consumer device cannot diagnose diseases. While doctors are increasingly advising people to buy gadgets like the Apple Watch, it's better to think of them as a stand-in for constantly checking one's vital signs while we're not in the doctor's office.

In the end, I don't believe the Happy Ring name does its designers' goals credit. It both makes me think of the mood ring craze of the 1970s while also implying that the product is above average in terms of its capacity to profoundly alter the wearer. It does the idea that our emotional moods have physical manifestations in our bodies, which is certainly true, a disservice.

There is little doubt that many wearable technology businesses are striving toward it. Consider, for instance, this internal Oura study, which seeks to determine whether the ring can "help identify symptoms of depression and anxiety," or this report revealing Apple's collaboration with UCLA to use consumer electronics to assist in the diagnosis of conditions like anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline.

Understandably, mental health is a sort of wearable holy grail. Listen, the situation is very difficult at the moment. Who wouldn't want to put on a ring and instantly obtain a better idea of their mental state? Traditional approaches to treating mental health often seem overwhelming since it is a vast, frightening, and baffling issue.

No claim is made by Happy Ring to be a diagnostic instrument. Instead, the business thinks it has figured out how to track wearers' progress, similar to how fitness trackers like the Apple Watch and Oura track physical activity. It makes the same claims about monitoring those important readings and providing useful information to help the wearer get back on track as those products.

Sean Rad, the creator of Tinder, and Dustin Freckleton, the creator of LVL Technologies, worked together to test whether a wearable device could accurately depict the mood of the user, according to TechCrunch.

Rad explains that there were numerous devices available that could track your sleep or physical activity. "But the elephant in the room, which is your mind, was truly being ignored. When it comes to mental health or mental moods, they were doing nothing. Can we create a tool that can begin to passively monitor what is happening in your brain? is the question we posed. Can we assist individuals to comprehend, have the language, and better recognize what they can do to improve their mental health if we can do?

A custom-built EDA (electrodermal activity) detector, in addition to the usual assortment of wearable sensors, is cited by the startup as the hardware difference for the product. A few years ago, Fitbit unveiled its own version of the technology as a way to gauge the wearer's stress levels. It would seem more logical to want a wearable to address "stress" as opposed to "mental health."

"Your hands start to sweat a little bit if you're public speaking, going on a first date, or looking for a job," says Freckleton. "That is the sweaty palms reaction. That happens for evolutionary reasons. The EDA sensor is specifically made to detect the minute alterations brought on by the skin's microperspiration and the activation of the autonomic nervous system.

40 people work for Happy Health, which was founded in late 2019. Of those, 13 are based in Austin, where the firm is based. A $60 million Series A backed by ARCH Venture Partners was also recently disclosed by the company.

According to Freckleton, "Funding went to research, development, and production of, really, a best-in-the-class wearable gadget." "From a sensor level to a data quality level to an AI infrastructure level, there is no equivalent device."

The product's presale waitlist goes live today. Right away, the business is introducing a hardware-as-a-service approach. The hardware is free upfront, and plans begin at $20 a month. This contains exercises like keeping a journal, heart rate tracking, and sleep analysis. There is a dearth of mindfulness content. Happy claims that it is instead considering partnering with third parties rather than expressly trying to penetrate that already crowded sector.

The connect app does make an effort to track how your mental health evolves over time and has a practical component.

Rad explains, "Every metric we're providing you on your thinking is actually real-time. Therefore, you could figuratively do something, open the app, and see the outcome immediately. However, we also provide you with educational materials, breathing exercises, meditation, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) exercises, and other activities that are specifically designed to help you better.

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