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App Chat: 3 apps that want to save you from jet lag, sketchy situations and your bad memory

Monument Valley

MonumentValleyGame.com

Princess Ida from "Monument Valley."

Perhaps you and your family just finished up spring break, or maybe you are already dreaming ahead to your summer vacation.  We here at Take Two would like to help you make that next trip a little better... through technology. Yes, it's time for the next installment in our regular segment App Chat.

While there are tons of different travel apps - these are ones that I'm loving right now.

1) Entrain - Claims to fix jet lag.

Entrain

Graduate students from the University of Michigan have developed a way that they say can help you beat jet lag. The rule of thumb is that for adjusting your schedule, you can expect a day of adjustment for each hour you shifted. This app hopes to help you adjust slowly, over several days or weeks to the change. And it does that by telling you when to expose yourself to light and dark to help shift your circadian rhythm.

First, you put in the time zone you're going to be headed to, how many days until you arrive there and it sets a schedule for when you should expose yourself to light and dark. The hope is that it helps you shift slowly over time to help you adjust, rather than just throwing you into a circadian tailspin.

We haven't tried it, so I don't know if it works, but the researchers published a paper in PLOS Computational Biology in support of the app. If you try it out and it does work, let us know!

2) Rove - A digital journal for those who don't want to be on their phone all of the time.

When you arrive in a new place it can be totally overwhelming... but since you've spent all of this time saving up money and vacation days, you want to get the most out of your trip. So, when arrive somewhere you feel compelled to document everything. Well, this app wants to make that easier.

It tracks where you've been, maps out your day and assigns photos to each location, so that you don't have to worry about jotting notes down about each photo.

3) Kitestring - Wants to make you feel safer in sketchy situations.

This app was made for people who might feel unsafe walking alone, whether they're traveling or at home. I've spent time on the phone with my girlfriend on the phone while she's made her way through some sketchy areas. But something like that might not always be possible.

So, what this app does is it lets you set the certain time that it'll take you to get from point A to point B. It then checks in with you when that time is up, and if you don't message the app back that you're OK - it sends a duress signal to whoever you assign as your emergency contact. You can assign a custom message, or you can also kick off the duress signal on your own by texting the app a certain word that you specify. 

It seems like the app could be improved by working as a phone app to provide GPS coordinates to someone in case something does happen to you. It would also be nice if it automatically called your emergency contact so that if someone feels like their in an unsafe situation, they don't have to spend time fiddling with their phone.

Honorable Mention - Monument Valley - Like if M.C. Escher made a videogame.

Monument Valley

Full of puzzles that make you guide your little character from one area on the map to another, with mind bending physics (staircases that flip, walls that turn). And with its beautiful graphics and music, it's absolutely worth the few bucks it costs.

 


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