After nine months as an iOS exclusive, Android users now can also train their brain with Core. This guided mindfulness gadget helps you meditate. And its companion app has launched on the Play Store. But what sets Core apart form so many free meditation apps already available to download? Feedback. While Headspace will tell you what to do when meditating, this gadget will tell you if you’re doing it right.
Core measures your heart rate through your thumbs using electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors dotted across its surface. If these biometrics suggest you’re not calm or focused, it vibrates to cajole you into changing your behaviour.
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Core is not the first gadget to offer meditation training – we also previewed the Muse S recently. But it’s the first to offer it in a handheld design. This makes it both easier to use and more discrete. So you can use it in a public place – in the park or on a flight (presuming people will ever fly again) – without attracting the same stares you would get for doing the same thing wearing a smart headband. And with the promise of two-week battery life, you can carry it around with you wherever you go. Confident that it won’t zonk out before you achieve your zen state. All this comes wrapped in a two-tone design made of natural wood, which will look nicer on your nightstand than most smart home tech.
The Core Meditations app lets you control the device. You can choose between three different meditation and breathing technique classes, which also come with immersive audio. Plus, it lets you track your stress levels over time. All this data also integrates with Apple Healthkit, so you can view it on iOS alongside your other vital statistics. There's no word on whether Android users will get similar functionality for Google Fit.
Core costs $169. But you can also pay $229 for the Premium package, which includes a one-year subscription to Core Studio. This includes guided meditations from online coaches, extra soundscapes and on-demand classes on how to sleep better, manage stress and more. You can also buy the device, then subscribe to Core Studio later on.
While the new app is available everywhere, unfortunately, Core is only shipping in the US right now. But the makers plan to expand internationally in the future.