Sharjah students help you 'Face Your Fear' with new phobia-conquering app

Published February 9th, 2016 - 11:54 GMT
The students were inspired by a friend's huge phobia of spiders. (Shutterstock)
The students were inspired by a friend's huge phobia of spiders. (Shutterstock)

Do you have a phobia of spiders, birds or cockroaches? If you're one of thousands who has an innate fear of all things feathery or creepy crawly, this may be just the cure you're looking for.

Three students from the University of Sharjah have developed a mobile application to help conquer weird and wonderful phobias.

'Face Your Fear' was created by IT Multimedia majors, Balsam Alkouz, Hanan Hadad and Hajer Meslem. The creative trio first came up with the idea after realising their friend had a huge phobia of spiders. Like the name suggests, their app aims to help people face those fears using virtual and augmented technology.The trio's quirky app has been nominated for the third edition of the 'Best m-Government Award', and if successful, they could win Dh1million. "If we do win, we want to add more fears to the application, like heights, even a trip to the dentist because some people hate that," Alkouz said.

Using Google cardboard 3D goggles, image targets and in-built phone sensors which most android phones are equipped with, users of the app can get up-close and personal with their fears.From a bird flying straight at you or a spider trying to get up close and personal with you, the in-built sensors will automatically monitor when the user's heartbeat rises.If it gets too high, the app will switch to a more relaxing scene so that the user's heartbeat can get back to normal.

This information/readings will automatically be stored on the app and it can then be analysed by the individual or a therapist. The end-goal is to help the user slowly but surely conquer their fear.

By Kelly Clarke



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