Israeli–Estonian start-up offers mindfulness to COVID-19-plagued world

The mindfulness and relaxation app will be free in 14 countries – including Israel, the US, the UK, Australia and Canada – until July 31

Synctuition mindfulness app. (photo credit: SYNCTUITION)
Synctuition mindfulness app.
(photo credit: SYNCTUITION)
An Israeli–Estonian start-up is hoping to make an impact in helping people all over the world cope with stress and mental challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Israeli entrepreneur Michael Burich started to cultivate the dream of finding a way to help people take care of their mental health, creating a product that would appeal to large audience by combining meditation techniques and entertainment. Synctuition was launched after ten years of research and work and it quickly became one of the world's most popular mindfulness apps, with over three million downloads in its first year of activity, according to data provided by the company.
In order to give a contribution in the fight against the COVID-19 crisis, Synctuition announced on Monday that it will make its mindfulness and relaxation app free in 14 countries – including Israel, the US, the UK, Australia and Canada – until July 31.
As Burich explained to The Jerusalem Post, the app offers relaxation experiences based on the technology of binaural beats.
“Essentially a sound is played to the right and to the left ear at slightly different frequencies, while the brain creates a third sound to compensate for the difference. The technology offers a lot of benefits to the brain,” he said.
The team - which also includes CEO Platon Tinn - decided to employ binaural beats to achieve something different.
“We took a ‘Hollywood movie’ approach, we wanted to create a movie for the mind. We wrote a lot of scripts together with psychologists to address the topics that people need to feel more confident and good about themselves. We then worked on movie boards, deciding which sounds should go into which journey, and finally we recorded everything in 3D to give people something that when they listened to, they would feel completely immersed in it,” Burich said.
The app now offers dozens of 25-minute-long journeys.
In order to record the sounds used, the startup sent teams to record in over 2,000 locations around the world, to capture the echoes of forests, beaches, winds and mountains. In Israel, representatives of Synctuition recorded in the Negev, in the Golan as well as on the shores of the Mediterranean, the Dead Sea and the Kinneret.
The company is based in Estonia and in 2019 was selected by Google as one of the Top 10 fastest growing startups in Europe.
“Starting in February-March, we have seen a huge spike both in number of users and in amount of time spent by users on the app,” Burich highlighted. “The health crisis, the subsequent lockdowns and the economic crisis are creating huge risks for the mental health of many people. We hope that we can help, that the use of our app can enter in people’s routine. It is our mitzva.”