Aneela Idnani Kumar says the genesis for Keen—a Fitbit-shaped device that aims to stop nervous habits like nail-biting and skin-picking—came when her husband, Sameer, confronted her about her disappearing eyebrows. For more than two decades, Aneela had been suffering from trichotillomania, a disorder more commonly known as hair pulling.
The problem with quitting a compulsive habit isn’t that it’s impossible for people to stop it in the moment — few would be have any problem refraining from biting their nails if someone noticed them doing it. Rather, the issue is that these compulsive habits become reflexive, so people don’t even realize they’re doing them.
HabitAware Inc., a Minneapolis-based startup that created Keen, a wrist-worn device designed to stop nervous ticks like nail biting and skin picking, announced the closure of a funding round on Monday.
Co-founded by husband and wife duo Aneela Kumar and Sameer Kumar with partners Kirk Klobe and John Pritchard — HabitAware’s Keen bracelet is designed to stop bad habits from happening.
Enter the couple’s new invention — Keen, a vibrating “smart bracelet” for ages 5 and older from their company, HabitAware. Keen bracelets (starting at $129) recognize when a user is engaging in a body-focused repetitive behavior and vibrate to alert the user.
At wearable tech company HabitAware, Aneela Idnani Kumar has two job titles. The first, marketing/design lead, is easy enough to understand. But her other position, “chief trichster,” is a less conventional designation. “Trichster” is a colloquial term for a person who compulsively pulls out hair as part of a disorder known as trichotillomania.
Aneela and Sameer (her husband and co-founder) saw an opportunity with this particular condition, to “raise awareness” in an entirely different way. As tech-savvy individuals, they had the idea to use haptics to draw a sufferer’s attention to their repetitive behavior, making them aware of it so that they could choose to stop.
Aneela Kumar counts herself as one of those people, desperate to find a way to stop the habit specifically called trichotillomania. Left with eyebrows and eyelashes so thin they were barely visible after 20 years, she looked for a device she could lean on to wean herself from the behavior, finding none. So she invented …
Compulsive behavior? Bad habits? HabitAware with its smart wearable bracelet Liv is here to help you. Most of the time we are not even aware of these habits, they are some subconscious behaviors that we might stop doing if we were aware of them.
Compulsive behaviors, particularly those that started in childhood, are notoriously hard to kick. These behaviors are stubborn because they’re performed unconsciously. But wearables have the potential to force people to become aware of their compulsive actions.
Liv est un bracelet connecté qui va vous faire passer la vilaine manie de se ronger les ongles ou toute autre habitude que vous souhaitez abandonner. Un moyen idéal de commencer à changer efficacement.
The wearable technology revolution has come to our aid! A new company called HabitAware has developed a smart bracelet, called Liv, that can actually help you stop skin picking, hair pulling, nail biting or similar unconscious behaviors.
It's important that Keen fits snugly. Here's a quick guide to help you decide which bracelet size to order:
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