The Orb: Biofeedback for Mindfulness

I have tried meditation so, so many times, to no avail. Living in New York City is like constantly being on fast-forward — my chest is tight with traffic and voices and people, and it can feel impossible to slow down. When I heard about Reflect, I honestly wasn’t sure it would work for me. Their Orb is a pint-sized biofeedback device designed to guide meditation and promote mindfulness, and it came with glowing recommendations. When connected to their app, the Orb tracks one’s meditation practice and acts a daily reminder to recenter and recharge. Though I’ve never been very successful with mindfulness in the past, I knew I had to give it a try.

The Orb is a small, plush sphere that fits perfectly in the palm of your hands, with finger indentations along each side so that it rests comfortably. These finger sensors use biofeedback to measure heart and breathing rates. The device connects to an app, which monitors these measurements and emits glowing colors from the Orb. The colors are associated with different states — purple is a state of heightened alertness, and the opposite end of the spectrum is a calm pale white.

The app allows you to choose from a number of calming sound selections, and as you perform breathing exercises, the Orb will glow in the color associated with your level of calmness, or lack thereof. By giving a measurement of one’s physical state and working to lower the heart rate, the Orb fights anxiety and promotes a state of mindfulness and focus. Following the breathing session, the app prompts a journal entry which documents your state during and following the practice, allowing you to track your progress over time.

Despite my past struggles with relaxation and mindfulness, this biofeedback technology has empowered me to take control of my physical state, and keep my mind and body at harmony. The Orb is a physical reminder to take the time to reset — when I see it, I remember that restorative calm is just within reach. The app’s journal feature motivates me to keep up my practice, and makes it incredibly easy (and satisfying) to track my progress and keep up daily streaks.

The sound options range from sleep-inducing to focus-inducing, making it the perfect practice both for a wind-down or a mid-day recharge. I find that their calming sound selections help me physically unwind, and greatly improves my sleep quality. Their more active playlists are perfect for setting me up for the day, or giving me a little boost to make it through. Overall, the meditations left me feeling grounded and at ease, something that has rarely come easy to me. But integrating the Orb into my daily routine has left me feeling significantly lighter, refreshed, and rested. After feeling like I had given meditation my all, the Orb has finally presented me with the perfect route to mindfulness.