One unfortunate side-effect of our always on, always connected world is that people today have the potential to be more stressed out than ever before. The problem lies in the fact that we've built a society on the concept of instant gratification and constant stimulation. We are, quite literally, overloaded with information. At any given moment, a given person might be juggling as many as three or four different tasks at once - it's hard not to, with so many things demanding one's attention from all sides.
Thing is, such tendencies aren't healthy. Multitasking wreaks havoc both on our minds and our productivity. Those who treat it as a legitimate means of getting things done are likely to be both less efficient and more stressed out. But how else can one keep up with the constant flood of information?
"We've reached the point that many people are under such relentless time pressures and in constant motion that an increasing number are on overload, overwhelmed and even burned out. We have difficulty keeping our energy levels up and building and sustaining our resilience." (Heart Math)
Unfortunately, unless one decides to become a technological hermit, such stress is essentially unavoidable. There thus appears to be only one option for most of us: learning how to manage ourselves. That's where Galvanic's PIP comes in.
PIP - the Personal Input Pod - is a small, wireless bio-sensor designed to give a user feedback on their stress level. Holding it between one's finger and thumb will cause it to measure the conductivity of one's skin, which changes based on one's level of stress. The data it gathers is then sent to a smartphone via a Bluetooth connection.
That isn't all it does, of course - the PIP system also incorporates several games designed to help users control their stress. Relax and Race takes the form of a race between two characters, where your level of relaxation determines how fast you can go. Lie Detective, meanwhile, simulates an interrogation with a film-noir police detective. Finally, The Loom - which I personally find the most interesting - shifts a forested scene between summer and winter based on relaxation.
It's certainly an interesting concept - and from the sounds of it, one which might actually work quite well.
"One of the great strengths of video games," Galvanic, explains on PIP's Kickstarter page, "is that they allow the player to have fun, while performing the same task over and over again. By using games as the context for biofeedback, the user learns to relax quickly, while having fun at the same time."
You can view PIP's website here, or the Kickstarter here. At launch, it will be available for iOS and Android.