Following on from the news this week that a Caribbean hotel resort has set up a mobile-free zone on some of its beaches to increase the peace and quiet for holidaymakers, it seems like a good time to prove that people can relax with the aid of gadgets.
It’s easy enough to put the phone away if you’re feeling stressed and take a walk, or read a book that isn’t pre-loaded onto a tablet – but here are a few ideas for those who need to wind down without the shut-down.
A Zen garden on your iPad or iPhone, without the hassle of getting sand everywhere. Raking the sand is in itself a calming act, while the waves created in the wake of the virtual rake can also have a soothing effect on the user. Ably assisted by a relaxing ambient soundtrack, and a pop up every time you boot up the app with ‘Daily Zen’ – a quote or piece of advice (sample Zen: Do not speak – unless it improves on silence) which serves to give users pause for thought before they begin their sand arranging. Your garden can also be decorated with a choice of shells, stones and sand colours, and the layout is saved each time you exit, ready for the next time you use it.
Satori is the Japanese word for enlightenment; it’s unclear how exactly being shown a daily photograph of a flower (no matter how beautifully photographed by Debi Worley) can lead to enlightenment, but the aim is to study it and reflect. As the developer puts it: “Look at the flower… try to simply “experience” it, without judging it…simply study it.” The aim is to build on the “subtle stillness, peace or calm” feeling that one should get when practicing this through regular study and the otherwise stressful time put aside to do so.
In case the name doesn’t explain it well enough, this app was designed with the main aim of slowing down the pace and letting the user unwind. A simple enough menu allows users to pick from a variety of “destinations” such as “Breezy Meadow” and “Under The Sea”; once selected, the sights and sounds of the chosen place are brought to the viewer in stunning HD-quality video and crystal-clear audio. Listen to the waves and watch as they roll in and out under the moon, or listen to the crackling campfire and watch the flickering flames. If you’re on the train after a bad day at the office, put on some headphones and watch the stunning scenery on your phone.