A buzzing bracelet created by a local startup company seeks to counteract a condition known as trichotillomania — the habitual, often subconscious, urge to pull on hair, eyebrows and eyelashes.
Millions of kids suffer from mental health disorders called Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors, or BFRBs, which are subconscious behaviors that are physical, repetitive movements or gestures of the hands, focused on the body. They include but are not limited to: hair pulling (Trichotillomania), nail biting (Onychophagia), and skin picking (Dermatillomania / excoriation disorder). For many kids, these disorders cause not only physical but emotional and mental harm and can affect their learning in school.
Aneela Kumar is one busy and talented techie. A budding entrepreneur, you may remember her from her Minnedemo20 presentation of Kid Around Town, a mobile app to help families explore their world and capture their memories. Or perhaps you remember her for being the inspiration behind HabitAware, which her husband, Sameer Kumar presented at Minnedemo23.
John Pritchard is a co-founder and Lead Hardware Engineer at HabitAware, Inc., and an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches an introductory course about the Internet of Things (IoT). “A bill of materials (or BOM) is at the heart of a design well suited for manufacture,” he says. “It is, at its core, a list of all the items necessary to carry out production of a physical good.”
The [Keen] bracelet looks like a fitness tracker and uses motion sensors to detect its wearer’s specific behavior after a one-time training with a companion mobile app. When the device senses your hand doing your unwanted gesture, it vibrates to make you aware of what you are doing, giving you an opportunity to stop.
It's important that Keen fits snugly. Here's a quick guide to help you decide which bracelet size to order:
Ready for "Keen" Awareness?
Our 3-min email shares 1 actionable tip weekly to help you manage your hair pulling, nail biting or skin picking & CHANGE FOR THE BETTER.