In the midst of today’s wellness industry boom, developers over in Silicon Valley are taking advantage of the fact that 18 million Americans now regularly meditate and are continually looking for ways to improve their practice. It only seems natural that the tech industry would latch on to such a popular practice, as it parallels the growth of mobile technology all over the country. In fact, software development experts at Maryville University explain how mobile innovations continue to dominate the tech landscape, with apps and gadgets cementing their place as an indispensable part of daily life. Through a variety of wellness apps and new devices being introduced today, more people are able to enjoy the benefits of incorporating meditation into their routines.
Of course, meditation has a myriad of benefits for any individual, all depending on what you truly need. For instance, researchers from the University of Wisconsin found that meditation helps increase empathy levels and empowers us to be more caring towards others. A separate study from the same school published on PLOS Biology reveals that meditating can even make the brain function more efficiently. On top of that, meditation has been proven to relieve stress and bring peace of mind, which is hard to come by in today’s chaotic world.
While you can keep your inner subtle instrument in top condition using our recommended 50-minute daily meditation and 30-minute biweekly Sahaja sessions, the meditation devices listed below provide an interesting glimpse of the future of meditation and the modern trends.
If you’ve ever dreamt of meditating on top of lush hills in Iceland with a view of the sunset over a mountainous landscape, then you’re in luck — virtual reality lets you do precisely that. Specifically, FlowVR allows you to meditate in Icelandic sceneries through virtual reality.
But more than just providing a cool backdrop to your practice, the app’s creators highlight how people are more likely to try meditation technology that is accessible and novel than go to classes, and they may be right. After all, 60% of the app’s buyers came from the United States and enjoy the relaxing scenery and music in the comfort of their homes. Admittedly, the six guided meditations can get old quickly when you use the app every day, but it’s still a cool experience and may signal the first step in an immersive meditating experience in a different reality altogether.
EEG and Electromagnetic Impulses
There is no shortage of wearable devices these days, and the wellness industry is welcoming new ones on a daily basis. The latest devices revolve around the use of biofeedback or a feature that allows for real-time measurements of your body. They can track heart rate, body temperature, muscle tension, and even brain waves. Being able to keep track of your heart rate or see your brain waves while meditating can have a tremendous impact on how you practice.
To illustrate, Muse, the brain sensing headband, is an EEG headband that connects to your phone via Bluetooth. EEG stands for electroencephalography, which is what doctors use to look at a patient’s brain waves. Muse tracks your brain waves through EEG to see how you improve every session, reflecting your mind’s state by showing stormy weather or playing calm weather sounds. The cons are that the headset is pretty chunky and can be uncomfortable for some, and movements such as yawning in the middle of a session can disrupt the whole thing.
Similar to EEG are devices that use electromagnetic impulses that claim to improve mood directly and boost energy levels. This is one of the more popular devices that make use of this technology and comes with adhesive strips that can be uncomfortable and pricey. However, people who have tried them reported getting better sleep and felt less stressed. The team behind the tech has worked closely with neurobiologists and neuroscientists to confirm how effective the tech actually is.
While most forms of meditation technology available today still have a long way to go in terms of functionality and comfort, they are opening up an exciting world of possibilities. More importantly, these technologies serve as the gateway for individuals who wouldn’t have tried meditation otherwise and would never have discovered how beneficial and life-changing the practice can truly be.