Four Apps That Want To Change The World
Unless you have been living under a rock in the past few weeks, you have surely heard of a series of troubling news stories. We have had chemical attacks in Syria, the US bombing in response, North Korea’s nuclear threats, and the continuing ISIS menace. With all that is going on in the world, it is easy to get swept up in all the negativity. As a welcome break, let us look at some of the better things happening, specifically in the world of app development.
Here are some app developers who are looking to change the world through technology.
1. SANE Bipolar App
SANE Australia, a national charity focused on mental illness, has built an app that helps people with bipolar disorder. A person with this disorder sometimes experiences mania, something like an overexcited phase that can lead to drug use, paranoia and delusion. In turn, these could lead him or her to breakdown of relationships, loss of employment or even suicide.
SANE’s app works by identifying early signs of mania through sensing the user’s activity throughout the day. When something unusual comes up, the app then alerts a trusted support person, who can be a friend, relative or medical practitioner.
The idea is simple. The app simply alerts someone else when an event is triggered. However, the ability to control which triggers apply to your own life is important. The app is currently at a trial stage, but it is open to just Android users for now.
Another mental health organization, Black Dog Institute, is partnering with NT elders to build Kurdiji. It is an app that looks to lower suicide rates among indigenous people.
Kurdiji is based on the stories and ceremonies of a local Warlpiri festival. The festival, called Milpirri, was established to address high suicide rates. The idea was to build a sense of community within the larger group. The festival was so successful that it arrested the alarming rate of suicides within the community. Because of this, the creators decided to collect the ideas of Milpirri into an app. They believe that making Milpirri available to other aboriginal groups will also help them beat suicide.
The app itself is just a collection of audio and video recordings, as well as text about the ceremony. This guide, however, will help make young indigenous people feel a sense of belonging.
Kurdiji is currently undergoing a round of funding. The makers are urging people to help launch the app.
Developed by the Triple Zero Awareness Work Group, Emergency+ is an app that literally saves lives.
People who call (000) are sometimes unsure about their exact location. This causes a bit of a delay for emergency responders to arrive at the scene. Emergency+ works by using the phone’s GPS to determine one’s exact location, which allows the user to direct the responders to the site more quickly.
Emergency+ is the type of app that you will very rarely need, but will be very helpful when you finally do. In fact, the app is recommended by NSW Ambulance. It is available for download on Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.
From saving lives, let us now look at saving our home. Another interesting new app is Naeus. Built by Jeremy and Tim Butler, it lets users identify native plants even without prior training.
Naeus is basically a botanist in your phone. It is based on the idea that having easier access to information will awaken your interest in the environment. This allows users of the app to be more conscious of nature.
The app is the winner of an innovation event in Ipswich, called Fire Station 101. According to the release, Naeus takes advantage of image recognition technology to recognise plants. It is still in the prototype stage, but it is already being prepared for production.
Call of Duty
Being built by the makers of Candy Crush, the popular first-person shooter is coming to a phone near you. While not really a life-changing app, you do save some lives in the game, and many gamer’s schedules will be changed when it hits the stores.
The mobile app is not available yet, and we do not have much information aside from that it is currently being developed. With the success of the franchise though, it is not hard to believe it will be a hit. If you enjoyed COD on PS4 or Xbox, you’re probably itching to take the game mobile.