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London startup aims to shake up wearables by laying down a beat

A London-based startup is gearing up to launch a “new breed” of wearable it hopes will help users become more focused and relaxed.

Created by Team Turquoise, the device is called doppel, and it straps around your wrist like a traditional watch. However, its main body will sit on the inside of your arm, vibrating rhythmically to either gee you up or calm you down.  

Team Turquoise says it will work in a similar manner to music, with an upbeat rhythm having a stimulating effect, and a downbeat rhythm doing the opposite.

According to the firm, it can be used to help relax you before bedtime, keep you cool under pressure or get you through a particularly dull meeting at work.

“It is the first wearable that actually creates a tangible benefit to how the user feels,” the company says. “Human beings naturally react to rhythms.”

Unlike most other wearables on the market, such as the disappointing LG Watch Urbane, doppel doesn’t feature a screen or buttons, which can often simply serve as distractions. It’s a dramatically different approach, and we’re interested in seeing if it works.

You can control the tempo of the rhythm via a dedicated app, though it’s currently unclear if this will cater to iOS or Android users, or both.

Alternatively, you can use a range of gestures on the device itself, with a stroke lowering the tempo, a squeeze raising it, and a twist affecting the intensity.

Related: Apple Watch review

Tests involving psychologists at Royal Holloway University showed “improved focus, alertness and reaction times,” according to Team Turquoise.

Doppel will hit crowdfunding site Kickstarter on 16 June, with pre-orders launching on the same day.

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