ALTRUIS X: FINDING STILLNESS IN THE CITY

I’m excited to introduce our latest creation: ALTRUIS X, the connected bracelet designed to help the modern city-dwelling woman find stillness amidst the chaos of the 21st century.

Technology allows us to be contactable 24/7. But the more our personal boundaries dissolve, the more other people lay claim to our day. As a result, 'time' has become one of the greatest luxuries of the modern world.

Despite many of us being aware of this fact, we find it difficult to break the bad habit of 'being busy'. We constantly fill every waking moment with non-critical tasks, and in many instances, our technology acts as an enabler to our addiction. And the sad part is, the more seamlessly and boundlessly we connect with one another digitally, the less we focus on connecting in real life.

This is the problem we're tackling at VINAYA. We want to remind people how to be present, and connect with themselves and one another in a more meaningful way. We want to empower people to be still, and to listen; two seemingly simple tasks, that are becoming increasingly more difficult.

Since our first product launch this time last year, our Lab has been tirelessly researching how technology impacts the human condition, and how modern mindfulness can help combat epidemics such as burn out, anxiety and depression. As a technology design studio, our skill is to then take the insights derived from this research, and explore how they can inform our product design process. 

Today we reveal our latest creation:

ALTRUIS X - the smart accessory to help you live more mindfully

 

...as well as our brand new VINAYA app (click to download on iOS and Android), which now works with or without an accessory. The app brings together a number of different tools under one roof, to help you build a consistent mindfulness practice. By housing all of these features in one app, we can cross-reference your data and look for correlations, providing you with personalised insights into how these habits impact the areas of your life that matter most, such as stress and sleep.

 

INSIGHT EXAMPLES:

  • “According to your data, you sleep 39% better when you don’t check your emails after 7pm.”

  • “Did you know that on the days you meditate first thing in the morning, you spend an average of 23% less time on your phone, and are 17% more physically active?”

  • “We’ve noticed that when you listen to jazz music on your commute home, you report feeling 35% less stressed at the end of the day.”

  • “According to your data, the optimal time for you to meditate is between 3 and 4:30pm. You reach stillness 3.4x as quickly, and report feeling 'calm' 2.1x more often.”

  • “Did you know that on the days you see your Dad, you report feeling 33% less stressed and 12% more creative?”
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So what's this product all about? Here are some (not all) of my favourite features:

FIND YOUR DIGITAL BALANCE

The average person checks their phone every 6-7 seconds. The digital detox trend is spreading like wildfire– something we’ve heard loud and clear.

There are two incredibly annoying things about smartphones. First of all, within a single generation, they’ve managed to become an unmissable source of constant distraction and waning attention spans. Secondly, they’ve created a constant source of social pressure to keep up with all our notifications across multiple apps and devices in real time, which is simply exhausting.

The new VINAYA app allows you to specify which people and apps are most important to you. These chosen notifications will be the only things allowed to filter through and make your ALTRUIS bracelet vibrate, meaning you can leave your phone out of sight, out of mind, safe in the confidence you'll still be alerted for the most important things. We want to help you break that bad habit of checking ‘just in case’ (and we might just remind you that looking someone in the eye is always, always going to be better than what’s on your screen).

MAKE MEDITATION A HABIT

There’s no denying the benefits a regular meditation practice can have on our lives. So why don’t we all meditate daily? As with all things we know are good for us, it’s simply too difficult to build the habit in the scope of our busy lives.

Over the past year, we’ve hosted many magical sound meditations at VINAYA house. Our Lab has also been researching the restorative effects that sound, frequency and resonance can have our bodies (refer to our wonderful friend Alexandre Tannous for a full list of reserach). And so, our sound meditation feature was born…

Rather than a standard guided meditation, the VINAYA meditation consists of scientifically-composed sound recordings (15, 30 or 60 minutes) that help you easily slip into a deep meditation.

Not only this, we take it one step further: our technology is basically an advanced pattern-recognition system, which means we can help you understand how your meditation practice affects your sleep, productivity and overall wellbeing. 

FIGHT THE WORMHOLE VORTEX

Admit it, you’ve done it countless times before: you pull out your phone to check something specific, instantly forgetting what your mission was, and instead falling into the deep abyss of mindlessly scrolling and swiping. When you look up 20 minutes later, you’ve lost all perspective of space and time.

Welcome to 21st century living, where UX designers exploit our ADHD-tendencies, merely to increase “time in app” (check out the Time Well Spent movement, led by the wonderful Tristan Harris).

With a simple smartphone timer, the new VINAYA app allows you to set a limit to how much time you'd like to spend on your smartphone in one session, helping you avoid that wormhole and claim your life back. You’re welcome.

F*CK ‘BEAUTY SLEEP'– BRING ON 'BRAIN SLEEP'

It turns out that sleeping for 6-8 hours straight allows the brain to flush out neurotoxins that otherwise inhibit memory and increase stress (and annoyingly, actually prevent the body from resting, thereby creating a vicious cycle of damaging sleeplessness).

Sleep, or the lack thereof, is another modern epidemic that lies at the core of so many of our physical and mental health issues. This is especially true in a time where our brains are constantly on haywire from staring at screens all day long.

By wearing ALTRUIS X, you’ll not only be able to track your sleep, you’ll also be able to receive personalised insights as to how your sleep correlates to different aspects of your life– and ultimately, your brain.

GET INSPIRED TO REFLECT

The amount of content our brains consume in a day is unprecedented. At VINAYA, we strive to strike balance between providing you with inspirational content from our Lab, but without adding to the excessive digital noise that we're trying to help you avoid (which isn't always easy).

This is why we designed our app to provide you with a short snippet of curated content that refreshes daily (meaning you can't click 'next' or navigate around the app and accidentally slip into the digital vortex). So whether it's an insightful quote, a suggested intention for the day, or an informative blog post, we hope it inspires you to look within and reflect, and go into your day mindfully.