The service encourages people move about their environment, utilizing a generative soundscape to produces calming ambient sounds
In a world full of noise, stressors and distractions it can be hard to find a moment to clear our minds and relax. That’s why Ustwo, a Nordic development studio behind the popular game Monument Valley, has created a new app that fits meditation into your pocket.
Sway is an ‘interactive meditation’ app for iOS that is designed to help users practice mindfulness in everyday life. To develop the app, Ustwo partnered with Danish mental wellness company PauseAble to make sure that the app’s features were scientifically proven to reduce stress and promote mindfulness.
Using the phone’s sensors to track motion, Sway encourages you to move around in your environment, from simply moving your phone in your hand while sitting down or lying in bed, to gently swaying your body while waiting for the bus or even slowly walking around the office. While not a game per se, the app features six levels, with users working their way up to level 6, which requires 20 minutes of meditation.
The app incorporates audio and visual elements to sooth the user, utilizing a generative soundscape that produces ambient and calming sounds with no particular pattern or rhythm, allowing for a unique experience each time. Sway was developed using scientific research that shows interactive meditation performs as well as guided meditation in calm situations—and works significantly better in busy and noisy environments. The app was then tested with EEG scanners in both noisy and calm environments. These separate studies, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Chi Thanh Vi, a Human-Computer Interaction Researcher at the University of Sussex, showed that Sway increased relaxation and lowered mental workload levels.
“With interactive meditation we’re on a journey to establish a brand new field of meditation that is proven to be more effective than other popular solutions currently available,” said Ustwo Studio Head Marcus Woxneryd. “The interactive component makes it much easier to use, more accessible and adaptable to people’s real lives.”
Sway is available to download from the App Store for $2.99 and is compatible with devices running iOS7 and above.