There are plenty of devices on the market that monitor sleep and track energy levels, but very few are designed to actually remedy these issues.
Enter Ayo: A wearable in the form of glasses that debuted at the Wearable World Congress on May 19. The product seeks to address health problems caused by “imbalanced biological levels and rhythms due to sedentary artificially lit lifestyles” through what they call Blue Light treatment. Essentially, the glasses emit a specialized lighting solution that realigns your body with its natural rhythm, thus making you a more productive and healthy human all around.
Novalogy CEO Branislav Nikolic first began to think about light treatment when he and his team collectively relocated from relatively sunny countries to the gloomy Netherlands during winter. “Soon we had problems with waking up in the morning or feeling low on energy during the day,” he tells Wearables.com. “This actually made us realize the importance of light on our bodies and its profound effect and on general wellbeing.”
Wearing Ayo for only 20 minutes may allow you to reap the benefits of light in an easy and non-intrusive way, say, while you are getting ready for work or bed. What the team explains is particularly special about Ayo’s blue light is its wavelength of 475nm — a number that research has found to be strongly linked with the body’s circadian rhythm. The light enters specific cells in the eye that in turn connect to a part of the brain known as the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN), a region in charge of regulating levels and release of hormones into the body over a 24-hour cycle.
Modernity’s stressful lifestyles and a corresponding lack of natural sunlight throughout the day has thrown humans’ rhythms out of sync, resulting in heightened risk of diabetes, heart problems, obesity, mood disorders, and even certain types of cancer. “There is also an indication that specific health treatments and medication intake have better results when used by a person with in sync circadian rhythm. The research is still ongoing but it’s showing great promise and high potential in many fields,” a rep for the company told us.
But instead of merely preventing diseases, Ayo really seeks to improve life quality overall. The device connects to an app on a smartphone whose first task is to determine the user’s “chronotype,” which includes whether you are a morning or an evening person, levels of melatonin onset/offset, highest core body temperature, and other relevant factors.
When amalgamated, the findings are meant to give an accurate representation of a user’s idiosyncratic circadian rhythm. The technology can then “indicate when you could be experiencing an afternoon energy dip, when would be the best time for exercise that requires high muscle flexibility and strength, and what would be an optimal time for a protein or carbohydrate rich meals in order to feel at your best.” Ayo even promises to help with feelings of jet lag inevitable to most people who must cross multiple time zones.
Perhaps one of the coolest things about Ayo is a feature called ChronoLink, designed to match your sleep/wake cycle with another person “by determining each person’s chronotype and circadian rhythms and looking for the best match for both of you.”
It is hard enough already to structure your day in a way that is physically and mentally the most productive, but imagine having the ability to do that with another person. Better yet, imagine never having to feel sleep deprived again. “Waking up early in the morning should happen naturally and travel should be enjoyable, not exhausting,” says Nikolic. We hear you. The glasses are available for pre-order here.