Spire claims to be the world’s first wearable device that tracks your breathing patterns. Find out how Spire works to improve your breathing today in our review.
What is Spire?
Spire is a wearable device that tracks your breathing patterns. The company explains that breathing “is the link between our mind and body”. By learning to breathe properly, you can improve your mental and physical health:
“By learning how to breathe well, we unlock the ability to control our emotions, fears, and keep a clear mind.”
Emotional marketing pleas aside, Spire is found on a small clip that attaches to your belt or bra. You connect to the device using your iPhone or Android device. Then, use the Spire app to track your movement and state of mind.
The Spire app will periodically send you alerts when it detects certain breathing patterns. For example, you might get a notification to your phone saying this:
“You seem tense. Time to clear your mind?”
In this situation, Spire has analyzed your breathing patterns and determined that you’re tense.
Spire sounds like something out of a futuristic movie. So how exactly does this wearable device work?
How Doe Spire Work?
Spire consists of two systems, including the wearable device and the app. The wearable device features a metal clip that can be attached to your body. The back of that metal clip features a padded sensor.
This wearable interprets your breathing data and then sends data – via Bluetooth – to the Spire app. The app de-noises your breathing data, then uses “advanced algorithms” that “classify your breathing patterns based on dozens of laboratory studies”.
In other words, Spire compares your breathing data against a knowledgebase filled with breathing data. It uses this information to make reasonable assumptions about your breathing.
At the same time, Spire acknowledges that everybody breathes a little differently. What’s calm for you might not be calm for another person.
As the makers of Spire explain, respiration is the only autonomic function you have direct control over. It’s also directly related to our state of mind. Here are a few examples Spire gives about the relation between breathing and state of mind:
-When stressed, your body will start to breathe more rapidly
-To become calm, we take a deep breath, because taking a deep breath changes the carbon dioxide levels in the bloodstream, helping your blood become less acidic
-Consciously taking a breath connects you to the present moment and gives you something in the world over which you have full control
All of these things mean that breathing plays a crucial role in our physiological health.
The Spire App
The Spire app is the key part of the Spire system. When you first launch the app, you’ll be able to see a live feed of your breath. The goal is to get the line smooth and steady – not sharp and jagged.
If the Spire app notices that your breathing is tense, it will coach you towards calmer breathing. The app even has in-app guided meditations and audio exercises – called Boosts – that aim to calm you down. These meditations are led by some well-known figures in the meditation world, including Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak Chopra, and others.
You can also use the app to see how you did today. You’ll get a breakdown of your mood throughout the day based on your breathing.
Finally, Spire will sync with various other platforms to give you greater insight into every moment. It can integrate with your calendar, location, and photo platforms, for example, to provide greater insight into your breathing data.
The Spire app is available through the iTunes store and through the Google Play Store.
Spire was founded in 2014. The company’s About page describes how the company’s goal is “building technology that puts the human experience – in all its randomness and unpredictability, its laughter and tears, its joy and sorrow – at its center.”
Spire is the company’s flagship product. The company is based in San Francisco. You can contact them by email at [email protected] or by phone at 1-800-501-CALM.
Spire is available online through Spire.io, or through Amazon.com. Here’s how pricing breaks down:
-1 Spire: $99.95 + $7.74 US shipping (includes 1 charging pad)
All purchases come with a one year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee. The device works with iPhone 4s and newer along with most Android 5.0+ devices (you can view a complete list of all compatible devices here).
Amazon sells Spire for about the same price ($99.94 at the time of writing, so you save a penny).
What Do Customers Have to Say About Spire?
Spire sounds like another cool wearable you can use to interpret valuable data from your body. But does it actually work? We combed through some reviews to answer that question.
–Macworld gave Spire a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5, describing it as a “unique tool” that monitors a part of your health other wearables ignore. However, the reviewer wished the device had more actionable data – like using GPS data on your phone to show you locations where you’re tense (note, this review was posted in 2015 and it appears Spire has added this functionality and others in the latest release).
–Wareable gave Spire 3 stars out of 5, praising the device’s well-made build and wide feature set. The reviewer, however, said that the Spire’s downfall is that it doesn’t fit seamlessly into your life like a good wearable. It over-relies on your phone and can be easy to forget when you leave the house. Wareable also said that the notifications can be confusing and provide little actionable data, which ends up giving you more information than you really need.
-On Amazon, customers are mostly positive about Spire, giving it 3.8 starts out of 5. Most reviews are 5 star reviews. Customers typically praised how the device tracks their activity and emotions throughout the day, giving them useful insight into where and when they felt stressed or calm. Many of those who bought the app seem to have used it to treat their anxiety, panic disorder, or OCD. On the flip side, negative reviews for Spire typically claim that the device has great potential, but has too many problems (like delayed notifications that tell you how you felt after the event is over).
In general, reviews for Spire are positive, but not overwhelmingly so. Most reviewers and professional review sites gave Spire a rating of 3.5 to 4.5 stars out of 5 – so it’s good, but not great, according to most reviewers.
Should You Use Spire to Track your Breathing?
When you first read about Spire, it seems like a straightforward app: you wear a device that tracks your breathing and interprets that data.
But for many people, Spire isn’t a basic wearable: it’s a crucial way to treat symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, and other issues. Based on reviews on Amazon, many people who purchased Spire were seeking for a way to help control their breathing. That’s exactly what Spire does.
Whether you’re interested in meditating and controlling your anxiety or you’re just looking for actionable data about your breathing patterns, Spire wants to help you become a healthier, more relaxed individual.