APP OF THE DAY - Ubrain (iPhone / iPod touch / iPad / Android)
Things can get rather hectic and stressful at Pocket-lint Towers occasionally. The other day, Dan and Chris were literally pulling each other's hair out in a playground-style fight over which 1980s computer was better, the Acorn Electron or the Commodore 16. We had to separate them with a vintage edition of the Monster Fun Summer Holiday Special. It was all very messy.
So, anything that can help us all relax is very welcome around our way, especially if it comes in the form of an app for a mobile device. It'll certainly help when we next have a life or death decision, such as do we get out Crossfire or Escape from Colditz on board games night.
- iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android
- iTunes, Android Market
Described as a suite of digital tonics, Ubrain's entire purpose is to help change your mood (for the better) by playing low frequency noises through a headset. But, before you tell us that you've already got a recording of trawlers traversing the Manchester shipping canal, which you happily fall asleep to on a nightly basis, there's far more to it than that.
The app uses binaural beat technology, which plays two different frequencies, one for each ear. An off-shoot is then created, a median third beat, which encourages cerebral activity, promoting temporary benefits, such as increased focus, energy, and relaxation. And, depending on the "tonic" used (there are 32 in the application) different emotions or moods can be enhanced.
Also, instead of just playing a monotonous tone for an amount of time (which differs depending on the "tonic"), Ubrain plays its audio over music tracks from your own device; helping you to relax as the mind-massaging takes effect.
Now, there will be some sceptics; those who usually wave off such new-fangled new age mumbo jumbo, like yogic meditation, mantric chanting, and Penicillin. But they would be missing out as, whether it is actually retuning your brain into thinking happy thoughts or having more of a placebo effect, Ubrain actually works. After 10 minutes of an "Espresso" tonic, yesterday's hangovers had thoroughly disappeared, although that might not ring quite so true had we listened to Rage Against The Machine rather than Mark Ronson and The Business International.
It should be noted that, for it to work at its best, Ubrain really needs to be paired with a decent set of headphones or earbuds. The ones that come with your device on purchase won't have anywhere near the same effect as the Bose QC15 and Klipsch X10i sets we tested it with.
Mind you, thinking of the cost of both of those specific pairs of cans has started our hearts racing again. Time for a "Siesta" tonic, we think...
Ubrain is also available on PC, and is coming soon for PSP, Samsung Bada and Apple Mac.
Tried Ubrain? Let us know what you think in the comments below...