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Move Over, Fitbit — Zenta’s New Wearable App Lets You Track Your Mental Health

The Zenta.

A lot of us have that one friend who has a closer emotional relationship with their Fitbit than they do with the people around them. They are constantly obsessing over calories and steps taken. But what about their mental health?

Mental health is a MAJOR component to overall physical well-being. Emotional well-being is frequently overlooked in the struggle to whittle down waistlines and adhere to an emotionally toxic diet culture. That’s where this new wearable app comes in: The ZENTA wrist wearable takes a different approach than Fitbit, though it may help you reach similar results. The brainchild of VINAYA, a London-based technology design house, the Zenta goes beyond the waistline and into the frontline of mental health, which is often what triggers poor eating habits and those days where getting out of bed, let alone exercising, just isn’t an option.

According to TechCrunch, Vinaya claims the Zenta is the first wearable that will monitor your physical wellbeing as well as aspects of your mental wellbeing.

Here’s how it works: Zenta monitors the physical signs that indicate mental and emotional stress, thus becoming physical stress. These include heart rate, perspiration, respiration and temperature. Once it has this data, it cross-references it against other data that you provide from your smartphone in order to process the link between cause and effect. It learns to create patterns about indicators for mental health, such as stress levels.

Vinaya has a lab of neuroscientists, psychologists and digital anthropologists who aim to “decipher how every single human emotion can be plotted in 3-dimensional space, where the coordinates are collected passively from the user’s biometrics or smartphone data.”

Kate Unsworth, Vinaya’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch: “The complexities of human emotions have been explored by technologists for decades. The concept of using technology to monitor things like stress and happiness isn’t new, however, it’s only very recently become feasible in an ‘out-of-Lab,’ real-life capacity. We now have the sensor technology and the power capabilities required to actually begin to track this stuff day-to-day, using a device that’s actually wearable.” She’s positioning the company to, as she puts it, “own this space.”

A bit 2001: Space Odyssey, but pretty cool. That dress does not make you look fat, regardless of what that know-it-all Zenta says. However, if you try to take it off and it tells you “This mission is too important for you to jeopardize it,” then you can start worrying.

To learn more about Vinaya and Zenta, check out their IndieGoGo

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Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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