Finally! A wearable that tells you when someone is too annoying to be around

The WellBe bracelet, now marching through its Indiegogo campaign, alerts you when people and situations get to be a little too much.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
2 min read

Even the device itself is designed not to cause you stress, thanks to its soft cork construction. WellBe

You know what we need a wearable to do? Tell us when someone is really getting on our nerves, that's what.

That's at least part of the thinking behind the WellBe bracelet now raising funds on Indiegogo.

To be fair, the gizmo's real purpose is to monitor your heart rate and send you an alert when it senses that you're getting stressed, via "a patent-pending algorithm to determine your stress and calmness levels based on time, location and people you meet throughout your day," the makers claim on the device's campaign page.

Will this alert lower your stress level or raise it? WellBe

Once your phone alerts you to the fact that the leaf blower outside your window -- or that unexpected visit from your chatty neighbor -- is pushing your buttons, the WellBe app offers up a variety of calming techniques like deep breathing or meditation. According to the makers, the app also tracks your heart rate before and after the exercises, and eventually starts to give you relaxation suggestions based on those that work best for you.

Of course, wearable heart rate monitors have been around for years. The unique thing here is tying one directly to your stress levels and tracking how well you can get yourself under control when your heart rate is elevated. It's kind of a consciousness booster -- once you get used to your phone telling you to cool off, you might eventually be able to preempt your own boiling points automatically.

The other new and different component of the WellBe is that it's made from cork, so the strap and gadget itself should feel extremely light and comfortable on your wrist.

Having alerts sound on your phone when you're already annoyed might not be the best way to calm down, but it certainly seems like it might be worth a try.

If you agree, you can sign up for a WellBe right now for the early-bird price of $99 plus shipping. That's about £60 or AU$195.

The WellBe is currently about halfway to its funding goal of $100,000, with nearly a month left in the campaign. The theoretical ship date is December of this year.

Unfortunately, the WellBe Indiegogo campaign page is a little light on technical details like how the gadget is powered and how it communicates with phones. I'm assuming it's rechargeable and uses Bluetooth, but I've asked the makers for clarification and will update this article when I know more. In the meanwhile, I'll keep monitoring my stress the old-fashioned way, by counting leaf blowers.