The 50-year shrinking trend in tech-hardwares may be slowing, but happily it’s brought us to the point where we can feasibly wear some of it and actually look good. Rejoice, tech-heads: you need no longer choose between geek and chic. London-based design start-up Vinaya are ready to capitalise; they’ve just released their second range of wearables, which come in your choice of eight elegant unisex designs – two of which are packing Swarovski crystals. Vinaya is not unique in this – Ringly’s jewellery also keeps you connected without compromising your style-game – but the ZENTA collection sets itself apart by moving beyond physical well-being into mental health tracking.
FitBit, Apple Watch, Microsoft Band, Jawbone… The wearables market is saturating fast. These days, any bracelet worth its salt will track your steps and heartbeat. But Vinaya’s team of neuroscientists, psychologists, and digital anthropologists claim to have made jewellery that also gauges how happy you are. ‘By wearing ZENTA,’ they say, ‘you’ll construct a complex digital profile over time by tracking your activity, sleep quality, breathing patterns, stress levels, emotion states, and overall mood.’ By extension, the more you wear it, the more comprehensive a picture you’ll get; ZENTA promises in time to identify possible triggers and spot specific patterns in your behaviour. As well as physiological indicators, ZENTA takes into account other data from your smartphone like your use of social media, your calendar and your location. Sure, other start-ups like Pebble have also entered the happiness game, but their watches are distinctly lacking in Swarovski bling.
The other benefit Vinaya promises is that it syncs with your phone and alerts you only when its crucial. It also gives you personalised vibrations – ie. one buzz for your mum, two for your boss… That way, your phone stays put unless absolutely necessary, allowing you to be present and attentive at all times. CEO Kate Unsworth and her team have crowdfunded just short of £200,000 on Indiegogo – for just over £110, you can pre-order your model of choice and it should be with you by April 2017.
The Bottom Line: ZENTA is stylish designer technology that doesn’t cost the earth. Track yourself happy.