SkyGuru, a mobile app aimed at helping passengers deal with flight anxiety, has made its debut in the US, Canadian, Israeli, and European markets.
Claimed to be the first app that merges mobile technology and aviation data to analyse and make predictions on flight processes, it guides passengers through the more anxiety-provoking moments in real time.
Users of the app have already navigated more than 1,800 flights in over 60 countries around the world.
This technology was launched following a partnership between Taktik Labs and the app’s founder Alex Gervash, who himself is a professional pilot and founder of a research and treatment centre for sufferers of flying phobia.
Studies indicate that over 30% of the world’s population suffers from fear of flying, while an additional 10-15% experience some anxiety or psychological discomfort while flying.
Aerophobia treatment is multi-faceted, and the stronger the anxiety, the greater the number of psychological barriers.
The app makes use of two important approaches to help people cope with their anxiety; it fills in passengers’ blanks regarding the particular processes and events occurring during their specific flight, and provides comforting words and moral support on-board, especially during periods when the flight crew is otherwise occupied such as takeoff, landing, and during turbulence.
Gervash said: “SkyGuru is designed to support any passenger who experiences psychological discomfort while flying. The app helps them feel like someone is with them on the flight, watching out for them and helping them cope.
"SkyGuru acts like a pilot that sits next to the user and explains what is happening during the flight and what is expected next.”
The app offers in-flight commentary in real time, keeps passengers aware of the weather and explains how changes might affect the aircraft, warns about areas of turbulence, and throws light on various flight processes.
It is built on algorithms that constantly analyse data on flight circumstances and create forecasts with the help of mathematical models, which are then altered into straight-forward advice and information for the anxious passenger.
In order to draw exact forecasts, SkyGuru makes use of information from previous flights and updates its weather predictions with the help of professional aviation data.
Operating in airplane mode in-flight, the app uses a phone’s sensors such as its microphone, gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, and barometer to confirm its forecast.
The SkyGuru developers tested the app’s performance on more than 300 test flights, and the system went through 730 different versions.
Taktik Labs and Gervash invested $450,000 in the app’s design and development, which took place over a sixteen-month period.
The mobile app is available on iOS in English, Hebrew, and Russian.