You’ll have to forgive Concepter for maybe not having the best pitch for their wearable, Soul — when I see ‘time tracker,’ I can’t help but think of a wearable gadget that has been around for, oh, a couple hundred years, give or take a few decades. But, Concepter has a different take on time tracking — clocking how much time we spend doing offline activities.
I’m still not sure if this is a serious product or high-art, hard-hitting social commentary. Being online too much has become such a big problem (and, depending on future studies, a possibly real one) that Concepter has seen fit to release a wristband/app duo that keeps track of not only how much time is spent on offline activities, but how much time is spent with friends and family. Similar to fitness trackers, users can challenge each other to spend more time with one another. I’m not sure how I feel about the gamification of human relationships, but if it helps it helps, I guess.
Every week, the app will list the five people you spent the most time with that week, and how long you spent with each of them. If you are now feeling anxiety because you feel like one of the baristas at Starbucks might crack your top five, know that you are not alone.
The band itself is pretty plain — an aluminum tracker that can be paired with silicone or leather bands. It doesn’t do much for the eyes, but it’s unassuming enough to where it could be paired with a second wearable, if you’re already invested in another smartwatch or fitness tracker. It can also be popped out of the band and used as a keychain, if you don’t want to overload your wrist.
While the commentary may be relevant enough, it might be tough to sell a device that tracks something that we can do pretty well on our own — counting 10,000 steps might be beyond the limits of human patience, but we’re probably decent at ballparking how much time we spent with any given person over the course of a week. I’m also not sure how much the tracker is really needed, because it seems like the app is capable of doing everything provided it gets a little direct input. But, if you want to hammer home that ‘get offline more’ talking point at parties, I guess here’s one way you can start that conversation. The Concepter Soul will be available this month, and it’s looking like a pretty terrific value — at least at the outset, Concepter is giving them away for free.