“I never liked the word ‘stress’”

Jeff Povlo works at RESET: a product and service designed to allow people to be more conscious and actively affect their stress levels in a positive way. “We have designed a pod that is linked to different scientific stress reduction methods. Users wear sensors on their head and heart. The pod will assess how the body responds to different types of stress reduction.”

“We developed an algorhythm, the RESET index. This index is based around stress resilience and the data from the head and heart sensors. It indicates how your body responds to stress reduction methods. You wear the head and heart sensors, and they track you to personalize wat happens inside the pod, how sounds and lightning can be adjusted. It is an immersive experience. When you go in there, you can be an active participant.”

“We were in Italy at Salone di Mobile, the largest design fair in the world. What we used there were sounds like drums or breaking glass. People could use drumsticks to make the sounds or touch the walls. It was a playful way to get out of the everyday routine. The response we got was amazing and people were incredibly enthusiastic. For me the big questions was: do people like this topic? Would they be interested in wearing sensors? People lined up for an hour to try it.”

Fight or flight

“We would like to see the pod in different work environments, any areas with high stress, such as financial institutions or hospitals. The need is massive. The problem we researched is physical as well as physiological: if we can make people more aware of their own stress levels, it can have a massive impact on their quality of life. We see this as a piece of the solution, not a solution on its own. We would only place these pods with companies who are actively supporting their employees, who work on a healthy culture, not just productivity.”

“I never liked the word ‘stress’ or how people talk about it – like a measurement of how busy they are, which is the wrong way. First I wanted to build an environment where people could break things, based on the fight or flight response to stress. But this goes beyond that. By doing research, we got a sense of how big this problem is, it’s enormous. So many people have burnouts, the costs are huge. ”

“For us it was really important to talk to a lot of people about what think about stress, how they talk about it. People were interested in what the body could tell them. That consciousness would already help. People forget to take breaks, they don’t stop.”

Challenging assumptions

“We looked at how we could build something for stress reduction, how we could develop an environment that has an element of play but was still inviting. We chose a teardrop shape for the pods, big enough to stretch out but small enough to reach everything. Like the Vitruvian man of Da Vinci. We developed the pod together with UN Studio, who defined the form.”

“We developed the prototype and demonstrated the idea. Now we take a step back and together with HealthInc, we look at the value proposition, the business, the idea, the channels. We are defining a way forward. The program has been great. It’s an opportunity for me to dedicate time to it, challenge my own assumptions. I’m working with people I respect because they have done it before. HealthInc and AHTI are well connected in the health industry, that’s another big reason I’m here. The network stimulates us to move forward, and we rely on AHTI’s experience to help with that.”


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