Lately, I have been using what is probably the most analog of digital health wearables I use. The doppel is a wrist-worn wearable that creates a silent vibration on the inside of your wrist, mimicking a heartbeat, they call it a “lub-dub”, and eliciting focused and calming effects in the body and mind. It does so with a  watch case and internal flywheel which creates beneficial vibrations. Check out a video of how it operates at the doppel website.

The wearable comes with an app that takes your resting heart rate as a beats per minute baseline from which to determine the cadence that will focus (faster), or calm (slower). Varied intensities also allow you to get more versus less of a vibrational jolt. It is cool that in addition to pre-set rhythms, it allows you to customize your own based on your own experienced correlates.

Source: Wareable

My Experience:

The experience of wearing the doppel is that of having a second, more visceral, heartbeat, which can be used to pace one’s breathing as well as to soothe one’s self much like being rocked in a cradle. 

I also found the vibrations useful as a somatic reset, reminding one to come out of their head and back into their body. This is important as disembodiment is a coping mechanism related to stress, distress, and trauma, which like many coping mechanisms is beneficial up to a point beyond which it becomes detrimental, counterproductive, and even toxic, to our health. Keeping this coping in balance requires grounding and embodiment practices and doppel has enhanced my ability to stay in the present moment. 

Aesthetically, It is quite attractive with the appearance of a modern, minimalist timepiece or piece of jewelry.

Improvements I Crave:

As to improvements, I wish that I could lodge this device elsewhere than my wrist, like my forearm, ankle. While on my wrist I would also like to see decorative covers and bands to give it even more personality than it already has. This would allow me to benefit from its use without occupying my second wrist, the one without a watch. 

I further wished for more instruction as to how to use the device independent of its app as the wearable does not have any sort of visual controls panel but works via a number of tapping gestures on the face of the device.

I am a Believer but would I Buy this?:

I am convinced of its effectiveness from several weeks of personal use and it is cool to know research studies have been conducted that confirm my experience. Read here:

In the spirit of fair balance, I will disclose that I was given my doppel, free for review, and questioned whether I would pay the $219.00 acquisition investment it requires. I have to say I am still on the fence when I consider its singular utility relative to other wearable devices which could easily mimic its rhythmic vibrational effect with a sufficiently programmed app. Note that such smartwatch app is not yet created and I would recommend a doppel look to capture this adjacent space before someone else does. I even thought to program such vibrational cadences using the meditation timer in my InsightTimer app only to realize that a value of the doppel app is in its algorithms which program and track a variety of rhythms for me more automatically. 

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