First it was Monument Valley, then we were in digital therapy then we were lost in a remote virtual reality island. Now ustwo has looked to its Nordic studio to bring us meditation, in the form of its new app Pause. The studio, based in Malmö in Sweden, worked with Danish “mental wellness” company PauseAble to create the app, which it says “brings the act of ‘focused attention’ to the mobile screen.” It works to focus the frazzled user’s attention by recognising “deliberate, focused finger movement” that in theory allows them to destress and refocus.
Peng Cheng, founder of PauseAble, says: “Human attention has become a scarce commodity in the age of constant connectivity and stimulations provided by modern technology. The inner skill of paying attention at will is one of the most fundamental elements for balanced living in the age of distractions.”
The app combines sound and visuals to create its effect, with the user first hearing ambient sounds when their finger touches the screen. This simultaneously produces a colourful shape on the screen that pulsates and changes as its dragged across the screen. “Users are encouraged to close their eyes, relax and enjoy the subtly evolving soundscape, until they’ve regained a sense of calm and focus,” says ustwo.
ustwo Nordics head of studio Marcus Woxneryd says: “Technology and smartphones are often called out for increasing stress in our modern society, but we’re turning that assumption on its head. We can use technology to get similar results to the traditional principles of Tai Chi and mindfulness – but in minutes, rather than months or years of dedicated training.”
About the Author
Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.