Gathering a Crew

The plan for this application is to have it up and running by the end of June. With the rumors-but-not-really-rumors of the Apple Watch arriving in March, this time stamp becomes even more necessary. Therefore, gathering a team quickly is key. Truly, I should have had one last month, but in all fairness, there’s only so far you can get with a simple idea forming in the back of your head.

Now, though, I am feeling far more confident. The only type of people I need now are more developers, and I have no doubt in time that I can gather more of those. I’ve met enough people that finding one shouldn’t take very long at all.

As of today, I have five people who are willing to help me research all the science of the mood application. One of them is studying psychology as a career, and will no doubt be invaluable in this endeavor. All of us are floundering a little bit, and none of them are developers in the slightest, but really, that makes them invaluable as testers.

I have a man who will be able to help me with marketing, who asked me, as soon as I asked him how he would be willing to help, “What’s your budget? We can start with a simple Facebook page. You’ll need a website, and it has to look good. I refuse to do anything with a website that doesn’t look great.”

On that train of thought, I have someone who is ready to help me develop a website. I’ve seen his work before, and I’ve used his work before, and I trust him absolutely.

I have a designer in the works, one who has studied HTML and a little CSS, and when I partner her up with my website designer, I have no doubt they’ll be able to come up with something modern and beautiful.

And finally, there is an entire community on the Internet that is always there to reach out to. There are people out there just like me, who are a little lost, but filled with confidence. There are people who have been programming for decades, who might look at me like I’m a little insane, but are willing to offer out a tip here and there. There are little geeks who don’t know a thing about programming but are just excited about products.

I have until the end of June, and I know, despite statistics saying that 37% of apps don’t get finished, that I can do this. I have to.

Mood Measurement

Instead of creating a stress reducing application, which would require an obscenely long timetable and resources that I, as a fresh-faced data and health developer, do not have, there needs to be a gear shift.

Research done has shown that two of my primary data sources for what was going to be a stress reduction app, ambient noise and heart rate, are not very solid indicators of stress by themselves. There is too much individuality in stress that can only be measured either by oneself or by brain instruments. Therefore, we take a step back, and we look instead explicitly at mood.

Now, looking at applications on smartphones and tablets today, while useful, they are slightly cumbersome to use. You do not innately want to measure your mood on the device. Why would you? People have enough issue with wanting to open their apps to view their Fitbit stats or log their food, let alone log their mood, which is as fleeting and varying as an ocean.

This is where smartwatches can come into play. Rather than requiring a user to go pull their device out of their pocket and find the app, instead their wrist can let them know to log that data. In tracking the trends of a user based on similar data, such as ambient noise and movement, a device can prompt the user in an easy to use, quick interface that doesn’t take more than a few seconds out of their day.

Thinking about the data that wearable devices gather in the background every day, they can quickly learn the trends of a user, and rather than begin prompting them for what their mood is, the application will instead prompt the user with “Is this your mood?” As the device is reaching that level of intelligence, it can also begin providing users with tips on how to improve their way of living, and in that way, we come back to the original application idea: de-stress.

Stress Reducing Application

Using measurements derived from a device such as an Apple Watch, the application will assist the health of the user by identifying what causes the most stress in their life.

Using measurements gathered from the watch such as movement, heart rate, time of day, and ambient noise, the stress reducing application will analyze and identify patterns in a users life that cause stress, sometimes where the user is unable to identify it themselves. It will then begin prompting the user for suggestions as to how to relax and increase their health by adjusting or removing factors that cause the most stress. The unique feature of the application will be adding in the measurement of ambient noise as a way to increase productivity and health. While there are a multitude of applications and devices on the market today that will measure health data such as movement, caloric burn, and caloric intake as it relates to health, these things only enable a limited amount of senses. Using the sense of sound, this will bring a new level of development into the health application market.

What will be important about the device that will be possibly the greatest challenge is identifying what is a good form of stress and what kinds of stress are only detriment to a user. However, there is no doubt that such a program can be used by any type of person to assist with their overall well being.