I don’t know about you, but I’m up to my ears in deadlines this week. I don’t meditate, and I can’t afford a masseuse. Instead, I soothe the savage beast with Pulsate, a so-simple-it’s-genius iPhone app that turns a few taps on the touchscreen into an infinite loop of ambient tunes (with calming geometric visuals to boot). It’s like aural Xanax.
Designer and former DJ Andre Michelle works a day job as Chief Technology Officer at Audiotool.com, and created Pulsate on a whim — although he told Co.Design that he now uses it regularly to calm his jangled nerves. He started with a simple Flash version that runs in a browser (yes, Pulsate is available to non-iFanboys too!), then spent a few days porting it to the iTunes Store.
Michelle’s design process was as stripped-down and intuitive as the app itself. “I do not make sketches,” he told Co.Design. “I like thin strokes and orange, done.” The audio comes from a sine wave: a simple mathematical representation of a pure tone. “Sine-waves are so fundamental — they are like black and white photography,” says Michelle. The iPhone app offers a hosts of ways to adjust the audio, so you can make Pulsate sound like gentle digital raindrops (my favorite) or something a bit more caffeinated.
Michelle is updating versions of Pulsate for the iPad and Android, but I hope he makes one for the new Mac App Store, too — this is the kind of application I’d love to have running in the background on my laptop.