Meditation Machines

Upcoming gadgets track—and help lower—your stress

You're a ball of anxiety: head pounding, jaw clenched. And you could feel worse down the line, since on-going stress can wreak havoc on your health. But new devices help you stop tension by picking up on early warning signs. They precisely monitor a bevy of biological stats, wirelessly deliver the data to your computer or phone in real time, and guide you in calming exercises that help you chill out instead of losing your cool.

Launch the gallery here to learn about the pocket-size gadgets that will calm you now and in the future.

Now: For Work

The Personal Efficiency Trainer tracks anxiety so you can pinpoint the exact moment you start to freak out about a specific event, such as giving a speech. For example, if you become nervous on the way to the talk, next time you can try a jitter-controlling technique when it's most effective. A wrist-worn device senses your skin's electrical conductivity (which increases with sweat). It uses Bluetooth to send data in real time to your computer. Of course, the price alone could cause stress levels to spike —look for wireless connectivity in more- mainstream gadgets soon.
Brainquiry Personal Efficiency Trainer From $1,850; executivebrainresource.com
Luis Bruno

Soon: For Play

Make therapeutic exercises fun, and you might actually do them. The Personal Input Pod, packed with skin-conductivity sensors, connects to Bluetooth-enabled cellphones to control games that you win by relaxing. For example, hold the PIP between your thumb and forefinger, and as you become calmer—and therefore less sweaty—your game character moves faster toward the finish line. Compete against the machine or against a pal holding a second Pod. The PIP could go on sale later this year, along with a choice of good-for-you games.
Vyro Games Personal Input, Pod Price not set; vyro-games.com
Luis Bruno

Later: For Everything

Nokia's concept phone is a biofeedback jack-of-all-trades. You custom-order it with various sensors that take stock of both your health and the environment—anything from a heart-rate counter to an ozone monitor. These detectors fit in a solar-powered, neck- or wrist-worn unit that sends data to your cellphone using a wireless technology called near-field communication. Software on the phone analyzes the info, recommending, say, that you take it easy if your heart rate is high and smog levels rise. The phone could even send your stats to an online database, helping researchers track worldwide health.
Nokia Eco Sensor, Price not set; nokia.com
Nokia