Tech Projects that were created to deal with cabin fever
Singapore might have exited circuit-breaker months ago, but for many places around the world, lockdowns are still a reality.
Prolonged loneliness and boredom can give rise to cabin fever, a psychological condition that can manifest into physical symptoms if left unchecked.
Bored at home? Read on and discover some novel ways to stave off cabin fever! PHOTO: UNSPLASH.COM
While no substitute for the actual treatment, technology has since risen up to attempt to tackle the problem of cabin fever. More and more we see people, trapped and isolated due to lockdowns or working from home, reaching out into the web for answers.
Here are some of the innovative and entertaining ways the internet has responded to COVID-19.
Well, know what they say – modern problems require modern solutions.
Watch Penguins LIVE!!
Live Penguin TV is a free streaming service brought to you by the non-profit, conservationist organisation Phillip Island Nature Parks in Victoria, Australia. With the Aussies experiencing their own version of circuit breaker, the rangers have turned to setting up a camera to stream penguins returning to their island home every day at around 1630 Singapore time.
The stream is hosted by high energy and passionate rangers, talking us through as the tiny tuxedo waddlers return from the ocean to trek back to their burrows each night. The video quality is poor, but once the penguins appear on screen you immediately forget about the quality and become excited upon seeing the ridiculous gait of the penguins.
The stream lasts for about an hour and you’ll be kept entertained by the hosts as they talk about penguin behaviours and answer questions from the audience. Keep an eye out for wild dramatic moments such as a mother goose snapping at penguins in order to protect her goslings! (This service is free of charge and the website warns of scammers attempting to charge people, so be wary of that.)
Get a change of view
For those who with an irrepressible wanderlust, Windowswap is a great workaround during Phase 2. Created by Sonali Ranjit and Vaishnav Balasubramaniam – both based in Singapore – the wife and husband team sought to allow users to live vicariously by peering through the windows of strangers, all over the world.
As the name suggests, this web application cycles you through a random person’s window in another city, seeing what they see and for a moment, imagining yourself as a resident in that world. It is easy to spend half an hour of your life going from window to window, gazing at majestic mountain vistas or golden vineyards. (It is an extremely immersive experience, until someone decides to use a blender while they record – why?!)
The service works by having users submit a ten minute video of their view from a window, the smart alternative to live-streaming. However this does mean occasionally you can catch snippets of conversations, weird human noises and in our experience, a raging blender while the user records.
The occasional audio blender blunder aside, it’s pleasantly surprising to see cats, dogs or other pets in the videos. You’ll find yourself often clicking through multiple windows with the expressed purpose of finding more such animals.
The whole experience is whimsical and oddly satisfying.
Spend your nights (or days) art the museum
Google arts and culture app will satisfy the curious mind and quench your thirst for knowledge. The app itself is not new, but with Covid lockdowns all over the world it has gained a renewed surge in content and functionality. Browse the collections of Musée d’Orsay, zoom into Rembrandt’s artwork, or even take a “walk” in famous sites all from your desktop or phone.
The app is better optimised on mobile devices, offering to take users down a rabbit hole of cultural and artistic enrichment. Currently I am browsing through the NASA museum, seeing and learning about the vastness of space reminds me to seek perspective. In the timeless and ageless cosmos, human problems are truly temporary, even this pandemic must disappear someday, and in the meantime, it is important to keep one’s mind active and engaged!
The app itself is enormous, and with literally billions of items you can browse and read through, the amount of information on display is staggering. My suggestion is to start with what Google recommends on the front page, bite sized curated content to get your feet wet. Once you are comfortable you can dive into the various collections from almost every famous museum in the world!
Get Movin’ with ActiveSG
If there is a silver lining to be had in this Covid19 period, there isn’t a better time to have access to readily available online fitness programmes with just a Wi-fi connection and Zoom. ActiveSg Circle is the ultimate platform for you to get started on building up your fitness from the comfort of home.
To say that ActiveSG Circle online programmes cover almost every type and level of fitness known to humankind is not an exaggeration, everything from Yoga for back pain, Piloxing, Trampoline fitness and way, way more. There are classes on offer everyday at all hours, there is literally no excuse not to get some exercise anymore.
The average cost for the classes ranges from $4-$10, a modest fee for a 45 to 60 minutes class. You can easily sort through the mass of classes available with the search function, filtering out names, dates and even instructors.
The site even has free VOD (video on demand) and streaming service, known as Get Active TV, with videos available on YouTube and Facebook.
There are a variety of exercises to choose from on Get Active!, from cardio to bodily mobility enhancements. While the training is more for beginners and the elderly, there’s nothing stopping the more enthusiastic audience from ramping up their own training. The trainers communicate in both English and Mother tongue, though the latter is entirely dependent on the race of the trainer themselves.
The ‘Wot’cha Cooking’ video series features Ben Logan and various guests whipping up delicious and healthy meals, all the while engaging in banter and entertainment. The cooking videos are roughly 45 minutes to an hour long, though for those who prefer to simply read the instructions, it is available on the MyActiveSG website.https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/tech-projects-that-were-created-to-deal-with-cabin-fever