Dear Humanetech followers
Smagotcha is the name for my project that moves somewhere between the two topics of „digital detox“ and „gamified mindfulness“.
I work on a solution to bring about the next level of meditation apps. I believe that mindfulness is not just there to sit down and meditate but equally an opportunity to deal with one’s smartphone consciously:
The Smartphone App Smagotcha supports its users to understand their own interactions with their environment. For this purpose a cute but disciplined creature made of light matures inside the app and changes its brightness over time. It brings the users thoughts, feelings and sensations into the here and now. In order to accomplish this it evolves its appearance and character continuously – entirely individually and as long as the smartphone is used. Beware though, it is threatened to atrophy when old habits resurface. When its luminosity is fully developed, the users will glide into the next phase. There they will be awaited by new secrets in order to let their creature live even more individually.
We believe that humans intrinsical drive to be playful should not be overlooked. Instead it should be promoted within flexible limits to create the user’s natural drive to experience himself/ herself and ones surroundings mindfully.
The reason why I am reaching out to the Humanetech community is because our project is making too slow a progress which is why I am asking for your help:
Our team now consists of 5 people. We are all students. I am responsible for the project, the concept and the sound design. The designer works on the creature and the app design. At the moment I and a designer work very hard every day. This project will also be the topic of my bachelor thesis next year.
Furthermore a webpage developer is involved and two programmers have just started to work with us. The latter three don’t identify with the project strongly and do their own projects parallel to Smagotcha.
I am getting frustrated with this situation. Our project should be much further already. Instead a lot of things revolve around the concept and the designs although an MVP has long been finalized. For sure this is as well important but we proceeded so far with it that an actual prototype needs to be coded now so that we can do our first usability tests.
I have spent a tremendous amount of time looking for a coder who is able to work with me face to face. The project needs a smart man or woman who is able to code at least 1-2 full days a week. Instead coders have cancelled their work once they realized the volume of this project. Right now our coder is able to work on this 5 hours a week. Another coder is already waiting to begin her coding at the end of May. But 5 hours is not enough and I simply cannot wait any longer. My agreement to work with them came out of a helpless need. So far I learnt that it is hard to find programmers with enough time and expertise.
My project’s dead line is November 2019. Until then I need to deliver at least a prototype. For a product that aims at its actual use, (that is to offer a solution for mindful smartphone behaviour), we need a serious team mate who is willing to sacrifice at least a few months without getting paid. It would be best if the one is from Germany and lives close to Düsseldorf but it would be also possible to work via skype if this someone lives farther away or abroad.
If we want to present a solution to potential sponsors then at least a prototype must be built. There were two major inquiries for support that I made recently:
First: I contacted the German health insurance companies in order to be financially funded. They would have liked to support Smagotcha but unfortunately there are legal funding restrictions which makes it hard. What makes it impossible though is that there is no prototype yet to present. I learnt that such companies then lose their interest.
Second: The German Start Up fair is held in Düsseldorf once a year. Last week I was invited to their start up pitch with potential investors and an audience. The pitch went really well but since the project is still in its starting period with no actual prototype the investors were not keen to finance it. Instead there were presentations of further progressed projects. These projects consisted of teams that not only worked together closely but were well organized. Again, a prototype would have been of great help here.
I mainly looked for financial support to be able to buy a coder that so far I could not find. But I am sure with someone who is willing to spend the same amount of time like me into the project we would be able to do so without such funding attempts.
I am offering a solution with a potential social impact. I feel sure about a successful outcome because we are connecting a reward system to limiting down one’s smartphone consumption. Those rewards consist of an ever evolving creature that consistently changes depending on certain aspects of the game. On the other hand we are still in the middle of the mindfulness trend. This trend may not be in peoples minds anymore one day but what will never cease is our innermost curiosity for games. So as long as the game contents develop they will stay interesting.
I am not able yet to reveal the whole concept but please reach out to me if the project idea touched your heart. If you want to support us with your professional coding skills let me know. If it is something else you want to let me know please go ahead. If you think this project is bullshit let me know.
I will welcome any suggestions and contributions. I am reaching out to you because I hope that Humanetech gathers those people who can identify with projects like this.