The Concepter Soul Is a Wearable That Tracks Time

It's Less About Chronology, More About Friendship.


Wearables that track steps climbed, distance traveled and calories burned are now a dime a dozen, but a gadget that monitors the passing of time? It might sound a bit silly, but the Ukranian company Concepter has just announced just a thing.

Of course, you're likely wondering how any time-tracking product would differ from a regular watch or, for that matter, a smartwatch, and the answer is that this device approaches time just as activity-tracking tech approaches your workout: by breaking it down into a variety of stats and offering challenges for spending more time with the people who matter most to you. Read on for the details on this new product.

The Concepter Soul

The device in question is called the Concepter Soul, and it's a modular activity tracker-style product that consists of a sensor and a smartphone app. It was originally introduced at CES in January of this year, but today marks the launch of its Indiegogo campaign. Concepter, by the way, has also released external light-source accessories for smartphones, but the Soul marks its first foray into wearables.

The goal is to raise $38,000, presumably to manufacture this device on a larger scale, and it offers various donation levels. Pledging $29 gets you a Soul device at a discount (since the expected retail price is $40); $35 gets you the same product but apparently, there are more of this backing option available; $60 gets you two devices; $90 gets you three; and $115 gets you four. You can even pay $1,200 to get 50 of the wearables, in case you want to supply tech for an entire office or something of the sort. 

We'll get into the specifics of it and why you'd want a piece of tech like this a little bit later, but for now, let's start with a look at the product's design.

Design and Functionality

In terms of hardware, the design is rather basic, and it definitely won't win any style awards. The sensor is made of aluminum and is available in either black or white, and you can pair this modular component with a leather or silicon wristband. You can also use the device in a key fob form factor, which may be the preferable option.

According to Concepter, the Soul wrist-worn tracker is good for up to a year of autonomous tracking with its compatible batteries (included in the Indiegogo packages), so you won't need to plug the device in every night as you would with a product like the Apple Watch.

As for how it works? To take advantage of this product's time-tracking features, you don't need to only hang out with people who have the sensor, which would admittedly be a lot to ask. Instead, the sensor detects the Soul app on other smartphones, so as long as your friends and other loved ones have the app downloaded, the sensor will be able to detect how much time you spend together.

The Soul App

When it comes to actual data, the Soul app is where all the time-tracking is presented for the user to analyze and view. A la the Fibit app, this software shoes you daily and weekly (and even yearly) breakdowns of your activity — except in this case it's a look at how much time you spend with which people and a list of the top people you interact with, similar to a social-life leaderboard.

Currently, the Soul app is only available for the iPhone, though according to the Indiegogo campaign, an Android version will be available via Google Play in June 2016.

The Point

This brings us to the point of the Concepter Soul: It's all about getting you to spend more time with your friends and the other people who matter most to you. It takes the same motivational style as the Fitbit and other health-focused tech toys and applies that to the concept of maintaining a fulfilling social life. To this end, you can create "challenges" for your colleagues and your friends to meet certain quotas for hanging out or interact. There's even a "let's meet" button in the app that acts as a shortcut for getting in touch with a pal.

While you may be thinking that mandatory fun is pretty much always a bummer, this wearable and its companion app are less about encouraging you to meet certain"hanging out" or "catching up" requirements and more about highlighting how you spend your time. It seems like an accurate acknowledgment of how "always on" yet "never available" we are with our busy lives, and to reflect this the app even breaks down challenges into the separate work week and weekend categories. For anyone who's ever had to cancel plans due to an extra crazy day at the office, this sort of stuff resonates.

Do You Need This?

A product that helps you keep track of how — and with whom — you spend your time could be useful, especially if life gets in the way of you developing and nurturing friendships and other important relationships. That said, social interaction is not a one-size-fits-all aspect of life, so if you feel you know what works for you, having a piece of tech suggest otherwise may not be your cup of tea.

That said, just as how viewing your sleep habits over time via the Fitbit app could help you identify important lifestyle changes you need to make, the Concepter Soul and its app could useful in pointing out a less-than-ideal work/life balance.

You can currently pre-order the device via Indiegogo, and as far as wearables go it's definitely inexpensive. Whether you need another gadget in your life is a personal decision, but in any case you have to give credit to Concepter for creating a unique spin on the "track everything" mentality of many tech products today.