Moodbeam is a digital tool that allows you to effortlessly track how you are feeling throughout the day.
The concept for this dual-coloured wearable came about two years ago when co-founder Christina Colmer McHugh discovered that her daughter was experiencing bullying at school.
Although the issue was swiftly dealt with by the school, she felt that there was still a gap in communication. Moodbeam was born out of the need to know how her daughter was feeling when she wasn’t with her.
After this, she approached family friend Jonathan Elvidge who had founded and worked with various innovative businesses for the past two decades, including The Gadget Shop and Red 5.
He signposted Christina to the C4DI, but she ended up coming back to him to co-found the company.
Since then, Christina has worked with several members of the C4DI community to carry out in-depth research and develop the idea. The Moodbeam team has found that the demand for a discrete mood tracker is universal, and doesn’t just apply to parents and children.
In 2017, Moodbeam was crowned Best Emerging Technology at the Hull Digital Awards.
We caught up with the inspiring entrepreneur to find out more about this inevitably game-changing product.
Great to chat with you, Christina. Nowadays, many people track their physical health and activity, why is it important to also keep track of our moods?
According to Mind, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.
With Moodbeam, you can discretely measure your mood throughout the day at the push of a button. You can select the blue button for 'sad' and yellow button for 'happy'.
This is then linked to a mobile app where you can review your mood later on at a time more convenient for you. The more you use it, the more you will be able to spot patterns and pinpoint how you are feeling and when you are feeling this way.
It’s all about emotional literacy: being mindful of how you feel so that you can adopt strategies for coping with this.
Life has its ups and downs, but by having an awareness of ourselves, we can deal with situations a lot better.
You’ve been working on Moodbeam since 2016. Have you faced any challenges whilst developing the product?
Our biggest challenge has been refining the product.
Once the word got out, we found that so many different people with diverse needs could benefit from using a Moodbeam.
We’ve quickly discovered that Moodbeam is a true tool for life and has the potential to be used in the healthcare sector and senior care, within businesses and organisations, among decision-makers, as well as within the family and in education.
Whilst the device’s versatility and people’s enthusiasm for the product is fantastic, it has made developing the Moodbeam concept complex.
You may have noticed that we only have two mood choices. We wanted to keep it as simple as possible so that everyone could use it, whether you’re a five-year-old boy or a ninety-five-year-old woman.
Why did you decide to create a wearable?
A key thing we were conscious of was the generation of “screenagers”. Although Moodbeam links to an app, the wearable itself doesn’t require you to continuously look at your screen. We’re keen to keep Moodbeam a largely distraction-free technology.
The wrist strap means that it’s easy to track your mood, and some of our testers have fed back that they enjoyed having something to physically press.
Another great thing about it being on your wrist is that it can be an excellent conversation starter about mental health, which is something I believe is always positive.
What’s next for Moodbeam and when can we expect to see the final product?
We're very close to securing the necessary funding to allow us to put the first batch of Moodbeams into production. It’s a very exciting time for us all - we can’t wait to see the difference it makes in people’s lives.
Keep up to date with Moodbeam via their website.