Revibe Connect Review
At the 2018 International Conference on ADHD in November, I won a Revibe Connect device. A Revibe Connect is like a fitness tracker, but this device is for your focus. You wear a watch-like device and every so often it prompts you tap on it to let it know if you are focused on what you should be or not. I was excited to try it. Unfortunately, I was less enthusiastic about it after I started using it.
For me, the price was right. Overall, though it is cheaper than an Apple Watch. However, it is around the same price as a FitBit.
After being informed I won, I was told my device would ship either the last week of November or the first week of December. It arrived early in 2019. I do not know if this is typical of their shipping speed. All I know is my device arrived a month after I was told it would and approximately a month and a half after I was told I would be receiving one.
This device looks great. If a person is embarrassed to be tracking their focus, there is no need to worry. The Revibe Connect looks like a Fitbit (earlier Revibe devices do not). While I was testing mine, no one asked what it was, I’m assuming they assumed it was a Fitbit.
I found the band the Revibe Connect comes with uncomfortable. Granted, I do not typically like wearing watches. I have found most watches I have worn over the years uncomfortable. However, I do not find my Apple Watch uncomfortable. I am on my second Apple Watch, and I have found neither device uncomfortable. Therefore, it is possible to make a comfortable wearable device. This is important. If you are going to market a device to ADHDers, you need to make it comfortable. Many ADHDers have a higher sensitivity to how different materials feel. I do not know how early generations of Revibe devices feel, but the aesthetic improvements made to this generation of Revibe devices may have come at the cost of comfort.
The big improvement Revibe made to the Connect, aside from making it look more like a Fitbit, is adding a clock to the face of the device, allowing using to keep track of the time and not need to buy a watch in addition to the Revibe device. However, I found this feature to be difficult to use. The time rarely showed up on my device, and the instructions gave me no indication as to how to get the time to show up on my device. I tried tapping the device, and nothing happened. I tried simply raising it up, like I do with my Apple Watch, and nothing happened. If you are going to put a clock on your device, make it usable!
When prompted, a user is supposed to tap twice to indicate they are on task or once to indicate that they are not focused. I found this to be extremely frustrating because for the first few times I tried it, my taps did not even register. It wasn’t until the device buzzed back after tapping it properly (however one does that), that I realized my earlier taps were not registering. Then, I realized that it buzzes you twice if you tap twice and once if you tap once. This discovery was cool, but also disappointing because I realized it was getting most of my taps wrong. I would tap twice and then get one buzz back. This led me to start trying to compensate later. I would tap twice even if I wasn’t paying attention. Then, I would get confused as to whether or not I was caught up. Sometimes, it would get it right, but more often than not, it would be wrong. Something is wrong with this technology. It is not working properly. This product feels like it was rushed to the market.
The app is probably the most embarrassing part of my Revibe Connect experience for Revibe Technologies, the company that makes the Revibe devices. First off, its design looks like it was created when apps were brand new, not something that should be paired with a newer device such as this. It is not user friendly at all. Some of the data listed is indecipherable. One category is your focus score, and there is no indication of what that even means or how it is calculated. If you click its info button, you learn nothing. The app’s main color scheme is dark blue; whereas, the packaging of the device and Revibe Technologies’ website are teal in color. It cannot be that hard to update the color scheme. Lastly, it takes forever to sync your device with the app. Actually, it takes longer. It takes five-ever to sync your device.
The Revibe Connect is uncomfortable, doesn’t work well, and has a terrible app. Right now, I would not recommend this device. However, I see potential in the idea. I think a focus tracker is a great idea. I would market it to doctors, not consumers, though. I feel a device like this could add some hard data to a diagnosis process that is, in large part, subjective. Moreover, I personally found the constant buzzing annoying and gave up on it after only a few days. You might be able to get used to if you try longer, but that is not likely to happen with a target demographic that is as fickle as ADHDers. We will not put up with an annoying device for too long. But, if we were being forced to wear it as part of the ADHD diagnosis process, we are more likely to stick with it.
I do not buy the idea that this device will help you improve your focus and concentration. Revibe Technologies lists reviews on their website from parents who say their child’s behavior in school improved because of this device and the research supporting the product. I just do not see how that is possible. If anything, this device would make me feel worse about myself, if every few minutes, I was reminded of how I wasn’t good at concentrating. Maybe, if I had tried it longer, I would have a different opinion of this product, but I was too annoyed by the negatives to keep trying.
The only reason I did not give it zero stars is I believe the idea is solid. I think it is a product that can someday be useful. Right now, it is not where it needs to be.