Calmingstone want to make controlling panic attacks easier.

Ramon Telfer and Alex Johnson from Calmingstone.
Ramon Telfer and Alex Johnson from Calmingstone.

Anxiety and panic attacks can be frightening and debilitating, something that Ramon Telfer, co-founder of Calmingstone, knows too well.

While Ramon was studying industrial design he regularly experienced these attacks and soon realised there were no helpful, tangible products on the market to help people get through these episodes.

“After gaining insight from psychologists I was struck with an idea to combine my industrial design background with my personal experiences in mental health to create a product to help people get through episodes of anxiety and panic,” says Ramon.

After graduating from Victoria University of Wellington, Ramon attended the Victoria Entrepreneurship Bootcamp to develop the Calmingstone idea. Shortly afterwards Alex Johnson joined as his co-founder.

“Calmingstone is a multi-sensory device that helps people control their panic attacks by guiding their breathing and focusing their attention,” says Alex.  “When someone is having a panic attack the Calmingstone's custom sensors activate a unique glow and pulse sensation. As the user controls their breath and heart rate, the Calmingstone responds with soothing live feedback.”

Since bootcamp, Ramon and Alex have completed various prototypes, conducted user tests, built a large social following and have flown to Asia to negotiate with manufacturers.

They have also created a viral product video which received over 5 million views and landed a two-page spread in European design magazine Produkt Kultur.

“Going forward we hope to become a global leader in well-being innovation and reshape how the world deals with stress,” says Alex.