Review Gadgets

Breo iSee4 review: Despite the drawbacks, this eye massager largely works


We all need a good pamper, and at this price point, the Breo iSee4 may be a good bet

It will be the chant of a broken record player to say our eyes are more strained on a daily basis than they were 10 years ago. Gadgets have created ecosystems that suck us in from one screen to the other; phones ring on your laptop, your messages are delivered to your tablet, all this even as you are browsing Instagram on your phone, occasionally distracted by your smartwatch reminding you to stand up and take a few steps.

  • Power: DC 5V 1A
  • Dimensions and weight: 208mm x 76mm x 106mm; 318 g
  • Modes: Sleep Mode (10 mins), Medium Mode (15 mins), Hard Mode (20 mins)

Given we are saturated by exposure to blue and dark screens, ultimate self-care now must involve eye massages. At least this has been my takeaway since trying the Breo iSee4 — even if the device leaves me a little disappointed.

What works

The iSee4 wins in looks; adequately heavy, meaning that it is employing all that we like about a gravity blanket — the comfort of gentle weight on aching and tired parts of us, but does so while looking like a state-of-the-art AR device. If you are doing this in front of others, you are only bound to feel as foolish as the first time you tried the Google Cardboard... but at least this is cushioned.

The puffing sounds from the air bags, as they snugly press into your temples and the balls of your closed eyelids might feel weird at first, but end up being therapeutic — perhaps reminiscent of little exhalations.

The warm compress starts slow, having your eyes adjust to the temperature delicately. I have always found the suggestion to rub your palms till they warm up and then press them to your closed eyes, a little pointless. You would need to have cried all night for this to have any effect. The iSee4’s warm compress, however, starts only after working the area a little — the gentle air bags shift with varying pressure across the eyes and temples, making the warmth actually soothing.

There are only three modes on the device. A long-press powers the system on, by default into the Sleep Mode, and then there is Medium Mode and Hard Mode. These are displayed on a small LCD screen at the side. The latter two modes come with music while only the last mode comes with a vibration. To toggle between modes, you short-press the button, and to power off, you long-press again.

iSee4 is also quite travel-friendly, given that it folds in half from the point where it sits on your nose. It does not flatten fully, but is compact enough. The strap is adjustable if you are sharing the device, and the cushioned section is low-maintenance; simply wipe with cotton soaked in alcohol.

Breo iSee4 review: Despite the drawbacks, this eye massager largely works

What doesn’t

My disappointment was primarily the audible dull motor sound, reminding you that this machine is working overtime to make you feel good. I am immediately distracted and already exhausted at its effort. If the makers have deliberately left this on, so as to mimic a sort of white or brown noise experience, it did not work for me.

Also the music... if you are stressed and tired, this will annoy you; listen to it more than once, and you might as well be Alex from A Clockwork Orange. The sound alters between chirping birds, crickets, dripping water, and something resembling an ocean wave. The problem, though, is the short looping so that you can tell where each starts and ends. Think of this as an audio equivalent of a GIF or Boomerang, as opposed to a seamless easing into hypnosis.

Clearly, with the addition of sound, Breo was going for a multi-sensory experience. With the proliferation of well-produced relaxing audio on meditation apps, this is a little lazy and left me feeling short-changed.

While quantitatively, the pros outweigh the cons, the latter are quite an important part of the experience. I wish I had the option to turn the music on the Medium Mode and off the Hard Mode. More importantly, I wish the device were quieter — this doesn’t seem like much to ask in 2019. If there is an option to try this device out (with hygienic measures) in-store before making a purchase, do try it before making a purchase.

Available on Flipkart, GlobalKart and Bed Bath & Beyond starting at ₹6,000

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 12:00:37 PM |

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