New iPhone App Is Mindful For You Automatically, So You Don’t Have To Be
Facebook is showing me advertisements for Spire – an iPhone-connected device that tells you when to breathe, so that you can outsource your mindfulness to an app.
This is a smartphone app that literally tries to get into your pants. You’re supposed to tuck it into your pants, so that it’s hanging off of where you fasten your belt. Then, the Spire device measures how often you breathe, wherever you go, all day long, capturing data about your “inhalation & exhalation times, breath rate, deep breaths, apneaic events” and so on, then sending that data to a remote computer, where it may or may not be hacked or shared with government agents.
Maybe you aren’t breathing correctly. If so, the Spire machine will tell you so, sending you messages on your smartphone in order to catch your wandering attention until you comply with its orders, and breathe at a rate that Spire’s developers think is right for you.
“Your breath reflects your state of mind,” say the people at Spire. They want to ensure that your breath is under the control of their little machine and smartphone, so that your state of mind will be under their control as well.
The idea, say the people at Spire, is that people need a machine to be mindful, so that people don’t have to go through the work of learning self-control.
I wonder – what other body functions are people willing to surrender control over to data companies?
Would they buy a device called Rinate? How about one called Owelmotion?