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JINS smartglasses swap fitness advice for meditation guidance

Engadget Engadget 13/04/2016 Mat Smith
JINS Meme Zen, focus © Provided by Engadget JINS Meme Zen, focus © Provided by Engadget

In a bid to get you focusing at work or chilling out at lunch break or at home, Japan-based JINS has announced a trio of new companion apps for its Meme smartglasses. The focus isn't on posture or workouts this time, but literally focus -- by monitoring your eyes. It's the same glasses we've been using at the gym, but this time the apps tap into the high-tech sensors found on the nose bridge. Specifically, three-point electrooculography (EOG) sensors that can detect minute electromagnetic changes from your eyes, detecting when you blink without any cameras involved. The company quotes scientific research that shows that frequency and intensity of our blinks represent whether we're concentrating or not, and they've fashioned three different apps around that metric -- as well as keeping a strict eye on your posture. No slouching.

Office acts like a hub for the new additions, but also lets you monitor your concentration levels real-time. (Yes, you have to be wearing the Meme glasses.) Your metrics are divided into 'mental', 'heart', and 'body' scores, with the app offering rolling advice on your condition, mentioning that the blue light of the PC might be tiring your eyes, for example. You choose a time period, and it'll monitor you for that long, even sharing how long it thinks you were concentrating highly for. (Say three out of five minutes.) After some brief testing, it seemed to do the trick: it's like a high-functioning wearable pomodora timer.

The end results are shared, and then you can move into other apps to improve your score. The core app for improving your posture, or the new Zen app for recovering if you're burnt out from all that concentrating prior. Zen is aimed at getting you familiar with the process of zen meditation, and while you'll need the phone (and some headphones), it's set up so that you can do it pretty much anywhere: from office desk to during your daily train commute. You pick a time, and chose from either an attention-focusing exercise, or creativity boosting one. (We're sure mileage will vary here, so we'll be testing these further.)

Then, there's Walk. This is a gentler reimagining of the company's Run app, but (obviously) slower. It monitors your walking gait as well as your fatigue levels. We're not sure if you need an app to tell you to clear your head with a walk outside, but the app will at least ensure you're not dragging your feet and walking properly, like your imaginary British nanny told you to. We're currently wearing the smartglasses, simultaneously / pointlessly trying to both meditate and focus -- we'll give you our verdict later.

JINS Meme (Japanese)

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