In a lot of ways, the growing wearable device market still feels like a solution in search of a problem. Then there’s Embrace, a new crowd-funded smartwatch that could actually save its wearer’s life by predicting epileptic seizures before they happen.
Created by Empatica, the new device uses technology that’s been around since the 1990s and is already used regularly at hospitals. Embrace marks the first time it’s being marketed to consumers, however, and at just $189 it may attract a mainstream audience. The device launched on Indiegogo in mid-November and quickly blew past its $100,000 goal.
Embrace can tell the time, measure your daily exercise and track your sleep patterns. Its big trick, however, is measuring the wearer’s electrodermal activity (EDA), which is recorded based on the amount of sweat on your skin, essentially tracking your stress levels at all times. That information can then be used to predict seizures. The device works with a specialized app, and communicates with your phone using Bluetooth Low Energy. If you do have a seizure, the app will send an immediate alert to your emergency contact. It also promises a week-long battery so you don’t need to recharge Embrace every night.
Embrace looks pretty sleek with a minimalist design, though it’s limited in what you can do. There’s no touchscreen, just a watch face that lights up to tell the time or warn you when your stress levels get too high. You can also link two copies of the device together to vibrate when they’re nearby, creating a close connection between patient and caregiver.
You can pre-order Embrace for $189 or get two for $329 via the source link below, though they won’t actually ship until July 2015.