HabitAware’s original Keen Smart Bracelet: Improved Gesture Detection Algorithm Reduces False Alarms

HabitAware’s original Keen Smart Bracelet: Improved Gesture Detection Algorithm Reduces False Alarms

January 27, 2021

The new and improved HabitAware Keen app for the original Keen bracelet is ready for you!

The updates come from a culmination of our NIH funded research and Keen family feedback.  

After updating the HabitAware app, it will be like you have a brand new Keen bracelet! Any current trained areas will be deleted and you will need to re-train. But don’t worry, the latest app version makes it easy to re-train and has better gesture detection where Keen captures very subtle movements.  


How do I update my Keen for this improved gesture detection algorithm? 

  1. Update the Keen mobile app for iOS or Android
  2. Plug your Keen device into the charger, even if the battery is already full.
  3. Open the app and connect your Keen bracelet via bluetooth
  4. Your app should automatically find your Keen and start the process to update the bracelet firmware, or "brains," for the improved gesture detection algorithm.
  5. Keep the app open during this process.
  6. Once complete, re-train your Keen for your unwanted hair pulling, skin picking or nail biting (see below for details)!

Why should I update the mobile app?

If you don't update you will miss out on the improved gesture detection and reduction in false alarms. Plus, you won’t be able to adjust the gesture detection, track your behavior, or add new trained areas without the update. 

Did you put Keen in a drawer, waiting to start your behavior change journey?  Use the updated HabitAware app as a fresh start on your behavior change journey!

Why do I need to calibrate Keen for 5 seconds every time I unplug the device?

When you unplug Keen, its inner compass resets. Calibrating Keen helps reorient the compass and reduce false positives. 

To calibrate Keen, after charging unplug the module from the charger and lay it flat for 5 full seconds. After 5-seconds, pop the device into the sporty strap and fasten snugly with two pegs and the loop! Calibrating every time you unplug Keen from the charger ensures accurate gesture detection.  

How do I train my gesture? 

The app walks you through the process. We recommend training only one area to start ie: eyebrows/eyelashes. Train in the location where you typically perform your behavior. For example, sit at your desk, in the car, on the sofa. During the 10 second training, perform your scanning motion that you do before you pick or pull. This is the "looking" for a hair or skin area to pull/pick. (If you are training for nail biting, train for the actual motion).

If you’re not sure, don’t sweat it! Most people re-train their first gesture a few times as they get to know Keen and get to know their behavior.

Why should I train only one gesture to start?  

I know you want to train every area at once, but training multiple areas at the beginning is a mistake. You won’t know which area is vibrating and which area to adjust. Trust us, don’t do it. Train one area and get comfortable with it before you add on.  

How long before I can add another trained area?

We recommend waiting a week. Once your first area is adjusted to your liking, you can add on.  Follow this method: 

  1. Turn off area one while training area two.
  2. Keep area one off while training area two, and keep area one off while you are adjusting area two.
  3. If both areas are on at the same time, you won't know which one to adjust. 
  4. After area two is trained and adjusted, then turn area one back on.
  5. Need a third area? Turn off areas one & two and repeat the above method.  

Will Keen be 100% accurate and make me stop?

Keen will never be 100% accurate, just like we are never 100% happy.  If 80% of the time we are 80% happy that is a win, and we aim for 80. Plus, false alarms are helpful too in training your awareness muscles.  Keen won’t move your hand away - but YOU CAN by using Keen’s vibration as your self-care reminder to choose healthier coping strategies. It's all about using Keen as your CUE to change your behavior. -- Keen is not the miracle, it just brings out the miracle in YOU!


Keen is vibrating when I’m eating, drinking, talking on the phone, adjusting my eyeglass. When you get too many false vibrations while doing other activities near your danger zone, such as eating vs. nail biting, or drinking vs. eyelash pulling,  decrease the motion sensitivity one number at a time until you find your sweet spot.  

  1. Go to Keen Setting in the HabitAware app
  2. Tap Manage> Keen Overview > Tap your trained area
  3. Find Motion Sensitivity:  Reduce the motion sensitivity from an 8 to a 7, one number at a time.   


Keen is vibrating when I’m far from my danger zone such as keyboard typing, driving, texting, reaching for the TV remote. When getting too many false vibrations away from your danger zone, narrow the Zone Range.  

  1. Go to Keen Settings in the HabitAware app 
  2. Manage > Keen Overview> Tap your trained area
  3. Find Zone Range:  Tap Narrow to reduce false alarms when your wrist is far from your danger zone.  



Keen isn’t vibrating when I’m in my danger zone.  When not getting enough vibrations while in your danger zone, increase the motion sensitivity one at a time until you find your sweet spot.  

  1. Go to Keen Settings in the HabitAware App
  2. Manage> Keen Overview > Tap your trained area
  3. Find Motion Sensitivity:  Increase  the motion sensitivity from an 8 to a 9, one number at a time, until you find your sweet spot.  


Still getting too many false alarms?

Turn on Vibration Limit. This new feature allows you to choose how many vibrations you’ll get in 45-second intervals.  Use when an activity where your wrist motion might be similar to your trained gesture ie: while driving.
    1. Manage > Band > Keen Overview
    2. Tap Enable and choose the number of vibrations you want in 45 second intervals.

    You can also delete training, calibrate, and re-train or reach out to us - we're here to help.








    False Alarms (pre-alarms)

    Near Danger Zone (trained area)

    Ie: hand resting on chin, head resting on hand, hand touching chin

    Change your mindset.  These are pre-alarms and good alarms.  Hand resting on chin might migrate to the danger zone (ie: trained area/eyebrows).  

    Smile when you get pre-alarms as you are training your awareness muscles!

    Too many false alarms 

    While doing other activities near danger zone 

    Ie: drinking vs eyebrow pulling

    eating vs nail biting

    Talking on cell phone vs pulling scalp hair

    1. Reduce motion sensitivity from 8 to 7, one number at a time
    2. Calibrate Keen
    3. Turn on Vibration Limit

    Too many false alarms 

    Away from Danger Zone (trained area) 

    Ie: Eyebrow pulling vs keyboard typing

    Hair pulling vs texting

    Face picking vs reaching for the TV remote

    Nail biting vs cooking

    1. Tap narrow in the Zone Range in the HabitAware app
    2. Calibrate Keen 
    3. Turn on Vibration Limit 

    Not enough true positives

    Not vibrating while in danger zone (trained area)

    1. Increase the motion sensitivity from 8 to 9, one number at a time
    2. Make sure Vibration Limit is disabled
    3. Set Zone Range to Wide
    4. Delete and retrain 

    Need extra help

    We're here for you: support@habitaware.com

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