Hey, Chillax! HeartMath Wants To Help You Fight Anxiety With Your iDevice

It’s taken three years, but HeartMath has finally responded, in the form of a major redesign, to the concerns we (and probably other critics) voiced over their original emWave stress-management gadget.

Where the emWave required plugging in to a USB port and cost $300, their new Inner Balance system works with pretty much any 30-pin iDevice and sells for just $99.

Here’s what it does. A sensor — the same infra-red sensor included with the original emWave — attaches to your earlobe (or thumb, etc) and measures your pulse. The sensor feeds its data through a 30-pin dongle into the Inner Balance app, which then calculates and tracks something called a “heart rhythm pattern.” The app uses that info to give you a graphic idea of your state of calm, and provides methods to help improve it.

The interface employs a wealth of visual tricks and data to help enhance your calm. You can check out your progress graphed over time when using it for the recommended twice daily, 10-15 minute sessions, and there’s also a point-achievement goal to strive for.

The app is free, but right now there’s no real way to take advantage of it without the sensor. But HeartMath say they’re working to change that — and on an Android version.

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About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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