New in Wearables: The Doppel

The Doppel looks like a watch, but it doesn’t tell time; instead, it emits a series of pulses designed to influence personal performance.

It works like this: By rhythmically pulsing the inside the wearer’s wrist, the Doppel harnesses “our innate response to rhythm,” according to press materials. When the bracelet pulses at your resting heartbeat, it should calm you down; a faster beat will pump you up. “Our testers have used Doppel for focus when working, calming while presenting, winding down to sleep, and setting cadence when running or rowing,” says the release.  

The device syncs with an app to record your resting heartbeat; then you speed up or slow down the pulse using controls on the device’s watch-like face. A battery lasts for five hours of high-intensity pulsing (e.g., for a run) or 10 hours of low-intensity pulsing (a steady pulse for your workday).

The project was developed by a team of students who met in an innovation and design masters program jointly run by Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art: mechanical engineer Jack Hooper; quantum physicist Fotini Markopoulou; materials scientist and electronic engineer Andreas Bilicki; and designer Nell Bennett.

The team, which created a company called Turquoise to market and sell the Doppel, raised its first round of funding through Kickstarter and is now accepting preorders for the bands, which are expected to ship in May 2016. The bands retail for $150. 

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