Bellabeat has just announced the LEAF, a wearable Health Tech device designed for women. It is a pendant design that can be worn as a necklace. It also can be clipped onto clothing, or even worn on the wrist as a bracelet. The device runs for up to 6 months on a standard coin cell battery that the user can replace,and it is designed to work with custom apps for both iOS and Android smartphones. It has no display, but it can vibrate to signal an alert for the wearer.
The LEAF is not shipping yet; the website still indicates that you can pre-order a unit, and that the second production run is already halfway sold-out. According to the website and the company press release, the device is designed to monitor “stress, sleep, physical activity, and ovulation.” It appears that all this is derived from motion detection. For example, stress levels are measured when the device is worn on the chest, and the rise and fall from breathing is extrapolated to indicate whether or not the wearer is under stress. Similarly, the ovulation feature is the result of “monitoring the menstrual cycle and reminding one about the days leading up to the next period.” Apparently, users must manually enter data about their cycles for this to work.
The website is thin on technical details, but the LEAF appears to simply be a 3D accelerometer with at a Bluetooth LE wireless interface. While it may be useful for its intended functions, it would seem to be far more limited than even standard fitness bands that typically have a more complex set of sensors. It makes sense to design wearables for certain target markets, but until this one ships, it would seem that other devices may offer a better value even if they come in a less elegant package.