February 10, 2014

Temstem app combats hearing voices

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 2:47 pm

An app that helps paracusia sufferers deal with the voices they hear has won the Rotterdam Design Prize 2013.

I did not know this, but apparently there are many people who hear voices in their daily lives, either voices that aren’t there or background voices that get amplified. Sometimes these voices are benign and just part of the noises around you and sometimes they are negative or threatening. Parnassia Groep claims their free iPhone app Temstem (the name is a pun meaning ‘tame voice’) can help you learn how to control these voices.

The jury report says about the app: “The jury believes that Temstem is a brilliant example of the impact that design can have on real problems. The joint research by the health professionals of the Parnassia Groep and the Reframing Studio designers has resulted in a genuine tool that can have a major impact on the lives of its users.”

The audience award was given to a display for railway station platforms that tells travellers where the first and second class carriages are, which carriages are crowded and so on. Dutch Rail had a similar system before but only in app form. The new system has displays suspended over the trains.

The first five prizes of the audience award were:

  • Dutch Rail display system
  • Temstem
  • Fairphone (ethically sourced smartphone)
  • Pal-V (flying car)
  • Mine Kafon (anti-personnel mine detonator)

(Link: Bright; photo by William Hook, some rights reserved)

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February 28, 2010

iPhone app can help you quit smoking

Filed under: Gadgets,Health,Online by Orangemaster @ 1:27 pm

Who said trying to quit smoking couldn’t be fun? On 1 March, Lianne Sleebos of the Delft University of Technology will be launching My Stop Buddy, an app to help people stop smoking. For a mere 2,99 euro, you can choose an English or Dutch app that will support you for 21 days. Fill in a personal profile and you will get activity suggestions to help you not reach for a ‘cancer stick’, lots of jokes about health and information on how much money you saved by not smoking. You can also push buttons according to you mood and you’ll be told why you’re going for a smoke according to it. It sounds like a nagging grandmother so far, but hey, I haven’t seen it yet and I do hope it works. I am curious about the English version, translations and all.

And although 2,99 euro is much cheaper than a pack of cigarettes, the iPhone isn’t, but OK you can get one for free with a certain telecom provider here in the Netherlands.

(Links: idealize.nl, zorginnovatieplatform.nl, Photo by William Hook, some rights reserved)

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December 20, 2009

Apple shuns marijuana finder

Filed under: Online by Branko Collin @ 1:56 pm

Good news, potentially, for tourists visiting our fair capital. Martijn Wuite and friends have developed an iPhone app called Coffeeshopr that will let you find the nearest place in Amsterdam they will sell you the happy weed.

The bad news is that though Apple did allow the program to be sold, for now it can only be had from itunes.nl where tourists typically won’t shop, Wuite told Parool (“Censorship Apple hurts weed tourist“).

Coffeeshoppr is like a restaurant guide, except that with us, users can give their opinion about coffeeshops using the iPhone. We put Amsterdam’s 50 most important coffeeshops in the program. Visitors can judge the quality of both the venue itself and of the marijuana sold there.

We have tried to make the whole affair fool-proof, considering our reviewers will probably all be stoned.

Besides the coffeeshop locator and the review function, Coffeeshopr also contains instruction videos on how to use marijuana, and information on the Dutch legal situation.

Coffeeshop is the Dutch word–borrowed from English–for a place where marijuana is both sold and used. The Dutch word for a place that primarily sells coffee is koffiehuis.

(Image: Coffeeshopr.com)

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