A little over a year ago, a small startup named Bellabeat introduced its first piece of smart jewelry, the Leaf, to the world with an ambitious goal: to make women everywhere feel like super woman by living a healthier, happier life. The Leaf tracked more than just steps and sleep, it learned from you and encouraged you to improve your well-being with breathing exercises and actionable advice. Bellabeat’s co-founder Urška Sršen even hoped that one day, the Leaf might track your stress levels and help you manage trying situations better.
Fast forward to 2016, and the company has sold more than 400,000 Leafs — an amazing feat for a small, unknown startup. Now, Bellabeat is ready to make good on its promise to bring stress tracking to the Leaf. A new version of the app, which will debut on August 1, pulls together your sleep data, activity logs, meditation minutes, and menstrual cycle information into a holistic view to give you an idea of your estimated stress levels. It’s not a strict science, but Bellabeat believes that when you combine all this data, you can get a good idea of your stress level.
“Stress is something that summarizes your well-being and reactions to daily situations,” Sršen told Digital Trends. “It’s very hard to control because there are internal and external triggers. We can’t know if you have a stressful meeting coming up, but we can show you how you can manage stressful situations through your behavior.”
The Leaf obviously can’t sense that you have an action-packed day ahead or if your body suddenly becomes tense, but it can tell how active you’ve been, how well you slept, and whether or not you really did your breathing exercises. Studies show that people are more disposed to react negatively to stressful situations when they aren’t getting enough sleep or exercise. Meditation and mindfulness are both considered good practices for combating stress. Now that Bellabeat has enough anonymous user data to recognize patterns, Sršen believes that the app can accurately predict your general stress level on a given day and give you the tools to fight it.
For example, if you haven’t been sleeping well or meditating, your stress forecast is more likely to be high. The app will then give you advice on how to improve your well-being with suggestions like going to bed earlier or taking a few minutes for yourself to meditate. The meditation feature is tied right into your stress tracking metrics, so if the Leaf thinks you’re stressed, it will guide you right into a meditation exercise from the app. In the app, you’ll be able to track how meditation and mindfulness impact your stress levels.
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Overall, the app will present a “more refined overview instead of chunks of data,” Sršen said. In addition to the stress tracking feature, the new app will bring improved meditation and mindfulness techniques. The app isn’t the only part of Bellabeat’s business that’s growing, though. The company also has a new piece of smart jewelry called the Leaf Urban.
Bellabeat’s first Leaf looked just like its namesake. It was a small leaf-shaped piece of wood encased in a stainless steel clip that mimicked the veins in a real leaf. You could wear the versatile little clip on a chain as a necklace, as a bracelet with Bellabeat’s leather strap, or as a brooch clipped onto your clothing. Its versatility was refreshing and ideal for women because it accommodated a variety of styles and looked like a real piece of jewelry. The Leaf Urban isn’t much different in terms of style, but it is made of new materials and has a different look than the first Leaf. It’s also a touch thinner.
Instead of wood, the Urban is made out of a composite of wood and eco-friendly degradable plastic that looks like stone. The Urban is more environmentally friendly, which is something that is important to both Sršen and Bellabeat’s fans — and it is water resistant. You can even shower without ruining it. Sršen said that water resistance was an oft-requested feature and many Leaf users reported accidentally throwing their Leaf in the washing machine while it was attached to pieces of clothing. Miraculously, those Leafs survived, but the Urban will be tougher.
The Urban’s clips are also stronger and symmetrical, so it’s easier to wear as a bracelet and more durable. The leaf pattern on the clip itself is also different. It looks less like a leaf and a bit more abstract. The metal clip comes in two finishes, including rose gold for $130 and silver for $120. You’ll be able to pre-order the Leaf Urban in August when the app update arrives. The app update and its new features will work with both the first-generation Leaf and the new Leaf Urban.
We’ll keep you updated here as we learn more about the availability of the app update and the Leaf Urban.