What seems like an eternity ago, my husband showed me an article in Wired Magazine. It was all about a new Kickstarter for a piece of tech called “doppel”. We read about it and realised it could be a really useful piece of wearable tech that could help with anxiety. Neil made a pledge so that I could get my very own doppel. Since the idea was created in 2013 it has been a really long wait to get my hands on the doppel. It finally arrived this week.
Here’s the science behind how it works (taken from the doppel website):
doppel works by creating a silent vibration on the inside of your wrist which feels just like the ‘lub-dub’ of a heartbeat.
Slower rhythms are calming, and faster rhythms help you feel focused – just like music.
doppel applies research in psychology and neuroscience which show how humans respond intuitively and naturally to different rhythms.
Research shows that slower tempos result in calm and positive emotional states while we associate fast rhythms with emotional states such as joy, excitement and surprize.
doppel’s silent vibration feels just like the ‘lub-dub’ of a heartbeat
doppel’s slow setting has been shown to reduce stress, and its faster setting has been shown to increase focus.
doppel uses a heartbeat, the most natural rhythm that exists, the one we all experience first as embryos, and it does this silently and subtly. Our brains respond to this rhythm, and we begin to entrain to it – in a similar way to how we respond to music.
Over the last few years the doppel has been created and perfected into a small, lightweight band. Very much like a watch that you wear on your wrist. The band is black and rubbery – think Fitbit strap and the motorised part is small and thin so it isn’t bulky on your wrist at all.
It comes with a charger that you can plug into a USB port and charges fully in around two hours. The information leaflet that came with doppel states that the battery will last for 5 hours if the motor/vibration is continuously in use.
The idea is, if you feel anxious or want to feel calmer. Or perhaps more energised. Simply turn the doppel on and let it silently vibrate against your pulse point until you feel better.
Priced at $179.00 currently and available in a black or white band (as we got ours through Kickstarter, I don’t know much Neil paid or if a choice of bands was available). Currently (as at June 2018) they are shipping to backers only with more stock available soon.
The doppel pairs with an app on your phone available in the Apple App Store and the Android App Store. You can download it for free and it enables you to set up your doppel. Once paired with your phone. It allows you to set your resting heart rate and suggest “rhythms” that will either calm you and help to slow your heart rate. Or energise you by raising your heart rate. You can edit the rhythms though the app before syncing them with your phone to create the best rhythms for you and your body.
I found the app annoying to navigate. The instruction book was overly complicated and it took me a while to get used to how it worked. Today the doppel has been randomly unpairing with the app. I can’t seem to easily pair it or turn it back on. Once your chosen rhythm has been synced to the doppel you don’t need to use the app, so it’s not too big of a deal. But I got in touch with the doppel team via Twitter about my pairing issue. They were incredibly quick to respond with helpful advice. A quick look through their feed shows that they are very helpful and customer service is not a problem.
As I said before, we have waited a really long time for the doppel. They sent out regular email updates explaining the process and the setbacks they were having. Understandably they wanted to doppel to be perfect and completely useable and bug free by the time it was shipped out.
I’ve not had a chance to fully test the doppel as I have only had it one day. I will be doing a vlog in a few weeks to talk about if it’s worked for me or not. You can subscribe to my channel so you know when it goes live.
My first impressions are pretty good. Having played around with the settings and felt the vibration of the motor on my wrist, it feels really calming. The motion recreates a heart beat and immediately started to make me focus on the pattern of the vibration. I suffer very badly at the moment from anxiety so I really hope that the doppel can help me.
In a time where you can read multiple news reports about doctors overmedicating. People don’t always want to rely on pills, so perhaps a doppel can be an answer to some anxiety problems. I’m really excited about testing my doppel out and seeing if it can help me.
Have you heard of the doppel? Do you think it sounds like a good idea? Let me know in the comments below.