Smartwatch Fights Anxiety with Action

In our fast-paced modern world, it’s no wonder that so many suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. There are several time-worn techniques for dealing with the symptoms of these attacks. But as anyone who’s ever suffered such an attack can tell you, it can be difficult to sense one coming on until it’s too late. By then, rational thinking has been supplanted by intrusive thoughts. For this year’s Hackaday Prize, [Austin Marandos] is doing his part by using technology to help us check ourselves before we wreck ourselves with worry.

Similar smartwatches exist to detect oncoming attacks, but they don’t do anything to combat them. Minder is like having a friend strapped to your wrist that’s never absorbed in their own problems. It wants to help no matter what it takes, which is why it features multiple techniques for getting back to a state of calm.

Minder’s brain is the bite-size Qduino Mini, which is great for a crowded wearable because of its built-in charging circuit. It uses heart rate and temperature sensors to determine the onset of a panic attack, and a vibration motor to alert the user. The motor also plays a part in the relaxation techniques to keep the user focused and in control. Use the upcoming break to relax and check out the video.

If your anxiety stems from feelings of inadequacy, it might be Imposter Syndrome.

13 thoughts on “Smartwatch Fights Anxiety with Action

    1. The applet idea is a great one as the “smart watches” usually have everything needed that this project uses for sensors.

      Also as this may also help those who occasionally become cognitively congested/paralyzed* as a pre-event to a psychotic episode or worse.

      The symptoms of such stress do include raised blood temperature, raised blood pressure, increased heart-rate and obviously a massive headache that can easily be ignored when the mind is trying to make sense of the situation.
      The watch can then be used as a warning/distraction to the affected person whom then can change their state-of-thought enough to hopefully remove them selves from the situation.

      *i.e. stressfully confused to the point of agitation… can sometimes lead to a psychotic outburst (AKA: blanking out, sometimes like a black-out violent blind-rage but where the “whom you are” part of the mind goes unconscious and the next minute you are seeing the consequence: “loosing all self control”)…

      P.S. I know the feeling of a psychotic outburst, I’ve trained myself on the stress event precursor that the only time I’d be in a psychotic episode is if I’ve been physically attacked (being attacked is a head-ache in it self)… That is if someone violently cornered me, pulled out a weapon or someone intentionally went for me (if someone went for me then I can usually regain some consciousness above the psychotic state)

    2. Yes Mynarsu this is a great idea!

      I have actually had this idea at the back of my mind ever since I started this project and I am currently in the process of creating a prototype code for the apple watch and android watch!

    1. Open source and this can be implemented straight to many smart watches, this is a definite reason to push Open-Source as a model IMHO.

      P.S. You win the internetz for life:
      The SJWs let you get away with “kkk” as your handle, yet go crazy about the noun “Transistor tranny”???
      Next time I need a handle…. I’m sure KluKluxKlanMann would be accepted?

      1. P.S.
        To ALL SJWs:
        I’m “Black”… Ok, I’m of Nigerian decent… but still… why are you so offended about nothing???
        Life’s for living!!!
        Remember:
        God is an artist, that is why we’re all different shades of human… or the world will be boring and bland: What God would want to make life bland and not interesting???

  1. So basically the Apple Watch’s Breathe app, with some instructions? The Apple watch also detects high heart rates and suggests to use the Breathe app. So a “smart” watch which has this as the sole purpose seems a bit silly.

    1. Hi Hcdvlies,
      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes there are similar products currently out on the market but the Minder watch aims to not only provide a platform for anxiety sufferers but to provide an open source platform that is both affordable and easily reproducible. The apple watch can cost anywhere from $300 to $1000 USD. The Minder watch on the other hand can be re-produced for a fraction of the price.

      Also minder makes use of Cognitive behavioral therapy based techniques not only breathing techniques.

      I am also planning on creating a platform for the minder community where sufferers can create their own personal anxiety fighting techniques and share it with others to download on their own watches.

      So although the apple watch is capable of breathing techniques it is not open source and not cheap.

    1. That’s my first thought. I think a lot of people with smart watches don’t know what they really want. The answer isn’t more micro alerts, it’s to put all notifying devices and services out of sight and out mind. (To unplug.)

      But hey, even if it’s not for everybody it might be right for somebody.

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