I've been using the emWave2 device for over a month now consistently. It's a fascinating device.
It's not an instant satisfaction technology; unless you have a lot of first hand experience with a mindfulness practice you may be pretty disappointed with your first few sessions. Initially getting into and out of coherence is going to seem pretty random. I've let a couple of my none Biohacker friends use the device who've never heard of Heart Rate Variability, who had lot of trouble getting into coherence and their initial reactions have been "this is fake". I think this speaks to how unaware the average person is of their mindset state and how they are handling their stress.
The core value of emWave is as a tool for measuring and habituating mindfulness and conscious management of stress. Most of us have a baseline level of stress that we are so accustomed too that we think we are totally relaxed when we are actually in a state of unhealthy stress.
The emWave device is teaching me what that state of baseline stress feels like, because the green light goes on when I'm coherent. Now while I'm working, commuting or doing something social and I detect a tale-tell sensation that I'm not in coherence, I adjust my breathing, body language, change my internal dialog to the few mantras that I know work for me and I find the world getting a little brighter.
For example, the other night I was very tempted by self pity, a combination of an issue with a client and frustration over something personal put me in a gloomy mood, I didn't feel like chit chatting with my roommates or going out to socialize with friends. It was a rainy night to match my mood, I felt like walking to the grocery store with my umbrella, buying some fruit snacks and just feeling sorry for myself.
But I hadn't checked into the emWave habit on Lift yet, leaving habits unchecked in Lift really bothers me so I figured I might as well get in a quick emWave session.
I turned off my phone, powered on the emWave2, forced a smile, began to breath deeply and did a meditative session, which quickly put my melancholic mood in perspective. Half way through the session a great idea for a business model emerged from my quieted mind, which I tabled.
As I finished the the 3rd green level, I powered off the emWave said "no" to the self pity and got back to work.
A couple of observations and funny little experiments I ran:
Smiling. I found that smiling helps coherence a lot! More proof that this simple body language is profoundly beneficial
Breathing, the HRV is a breath meditation exercise as well. I've already noticed transfer effects to using wholistic breathing during times I'd usually be stressed out.
Watching funny videos on Youtube actually doesn't improve coherence but I did find correlation between watching Hip Hop or Reggaeton videos and the green light.
Let's touch a couple of negatives:
The aesthetics... are a little lacking, other than the cool flashing lights it's made of cheap feeling plastic. It feels like the kind of thing that would break if you dropped it on the ground, although I actually did drop it on the ground and it still works fine.
Battery life is unimpressive... This might just have been my device but it seemed like I need to charge it a lot.
Social integration... On my wish list for hear rate variability training is being able to share my progress via social media or maybe event compete with my friends for highest coherence scores.
The emWave2 is one of the more expensive, pieces of biohacking gear we recommend. For that reason very few people will have the opportunity to use it, which is as it should be because practice with the emWave2 device gives an unfair advantage in multiple performance dimensions.