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Science


How doppel works

doppel works by creating a silent vibration on the inside of your wrist which feels just like the ‘lub-dub’ of a heartbeat.

Slower rhythms are calming, and faster rhythms help you feel focused - just like music.

doppel applies research in psychology and neuroscience

doppel applies research in psychology and neuroscience which show how humans respond intuitively and naturally to different rhythms.

Research shows that slower tempos result in calm and positive emotional states while we associate fast rhythms with emotional states such as joy, excitement and surprize.

doppel's silent vibration feels just like the ‘lub-dub’ of a heartbeat

doppel's slow setting has been shown to reduce stress, and its faster setting has been shown to increase focus. You can read more about our testing below.

doppel uses a heartbeat, the most natural rhythm that exists, the one we all experience first as embryos, and it does this silently and subtly. Our brains respond to this rhythm, and we begin to entrain to it - in a similar way to how we respond to music.

But it’s not just doppel. Our bodies respond to all kinds of rhythms.

The heartbeats of a mother and baby will synchronize with one another when they interact closely, and similar effects have been observed in couples.

Recent research also shows that when an empathetic partner holds the hand of a woman in pain, their heart and respiratory rates sync and her pain reduces.

And you don’t even have to be touching. Researchers also found that if you sit a couple face-to-face and ask them not to talk, just staring at each other for fifteen minutes is enough to get their levels of skin conductance and heart rate to sync up.

Our bodies also respond to non-biological rhythms. For example, the tempo of a song can naturally alter our breathing rate and heart rate - and in fact, researchers in Sweden found that not only can choir singers harmonize their voices, they can also synchronize their heartbeats.

But unlike music, or holding someone’s hand, doppel’s silent beat is non-distracting, so you can feel calm and focused, anytime and anywhere.

Shown to reduce stress and increase focus

doppel's award-winning technology has been shown both to reduce stress and improve focus.

Stress less

Researchers from the Psychology Department at Royal Holloway, University of London assessed the calming effects of doppel and found that its heartbeat-like vibration delivered onto the inside of the wrist can make the wearer feel less stressed.

The research was published on 24 May 2017 in the the peer-reviewed journal Nature Scientific Reports.

The article Azevedo RT, Bennett N, Bilicki A, Hooper J, Markopoulou F & Tsakiris M (2017) The calming effect of a new wearable device during the anticipation of public speech. Scientific Reports, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-02274-2 is freely available online at www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-02274-2.

To test the efficacy of doppel, the researchers exposed volunteers to a socially stressful situation and measured their physiological arousal and their reported anxiety levels. 

In a controlled, single-blind study, two groups of participants were asked to prepare a public speech - a widely used psychological task that consistently increases stress. All participants wore the device on their wrist and a cover story was used to suggest to participants that the device was measuring blood pressure during the anticipation of the task. Importantly, for only one of the two groups of participants, the device was turned on and delivered a heartbeat-like vibration at a slower frequency than the participants’ resting heart rate, while they were preparing their speech.

The researchers measured both physiological arousal and subjective reports of anxiety. The use of doppel had a tangible and measurable calming effect across both physiological and psychological levels. Only the participants who felt the heartbeat-like vibration displayed lower increases in skin conductance responses and lower anxiety levels. 

Average Skin Conductance levels across conditions and groups (A), and average state anxiety scores (B) for both the group using doppel and the control group. Participants who felt the heartbeat-like vibration became less stressed.

Feel focused

In a psychology lab, Professor Tsakiris from the Psychology Department at Royal Holloway, University of London led an experiment where participants completed a controlled Psychomotor Vigilance Task (a sustained-attention, reaction-timed task that measures the speed with which subjects respond to a visual stimulus). Those wearing doppel set at 100-120bpm committed fewer lapses than the control scenario (wearing doppel switched off), irrespective of whether they performed the test with doppel or the control first. This shows that participants who felt the heartbeat-like vibration were more focused.

Professor Tsakiris published his findings in this White Paper.

Tested in everyday life

Outside of the lab, doppel has also been tested by hundreds of people who have used it to focus at work, to stay calm in stressful situations, to set a pace while exercising, and much more.