New app to comfort nervous fliers by explaining happenings in real time
Some travellers really don’t like being tens of thousands of feet up in the air in a fast-moving metal cylinder. But there’s now hope for nervous fliers thanks to a new app which aims at calming uneasy travelers by making them feel like they are sitting next to the pilot.
Sky Guru, released this week, will explain to passengers what is happening during their flight in real time and what they can expect by using professional aviation data.
The app is the brainchild of Israeli pilot and psychologist, Alex Gervash, who is the director of Flying without Fear – a centre for studying and treatment of aerophobia.
“Having over eight years of experience with fear of flying treatment I’ve recognised the value of real-time assistance,” Gervash said.
“People need support during turbulence or with understanding a strange sound.”
He added that when humans are stressed they require more information and support to cope with the situation.
During the stressful moments of a flight such as take-off and landing or during turbulence the app will send reassuring messages such as, “control yourself rather than the airplane”.
It uses a phone’s built-in sensors – a microphone, gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, barometer – and professional aviation weather forecasts to help explain to anxious fliers reasons behind the plane dipping or certain noises.
It will also answer questions about goings-on within the plane such as why window blinds need to be open or why lights blink.
The app works by downloading all the available aeronautic information regarding a selected flight pre-departure. Then, when the phone is put into flight mode on board, it provides travelers with information until they land.
Sky Guru also works on the ground by advising about possible delays or telling passengers which seats to pick on the plane.
Users so far have been pleased with their experience, praising its exact explanations – “nothing wishy-washy” – and how it’s psychologically on point.
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