Saturday, May 15, 2021

Calmmie app fights cyber bullying


My grandchildren are still too young to have their own mobile phones, but oh boy, do they know what they're all about. Whenever they can get their little fingers on a phone, they're taking selfies, watching videos and even making calls.

Fortunately, they don't yet read, so they're not swapping messages. But that time is fast approaching - some research say children will own a mobile phone by age seven - and that makes the adults in their orbit a little uneasy. 

We've all heard stories about how easily kids can be harassed and bullied through their phones and we know it will be our responsibility to monitor what they are doing when they go online. Fortunately, technology entrepreneurs are coming up with new tools to help us meet that responsibility. 

One example is a new app called Calmmie. It's an app that uses artificial intelligence to analyze and sort incoming chat messages. 

Calmmie allows messages with benign or positive content to be read my the user. Messages with aggressive or traumatic content are blocked before they reach young eyes.

The AI system is also designed to identify content that signals anxiety or depression. Parents or a designated co-admin can remotely take action to delete chats or block senders.  

Sarah Sandez, Calmmie's creator, described its purpose this way:

Calmmie was developed to improve safe chatting and create a calming experience for mobile device users. It gives users more control over chats delivered to their phones.


In addition to the chat monitor, the app includes other services to help deal with traumatic situations. It displays an SOS panic button in the phone's home screen that is usable even when the phone is locked. When pressed, the phone dials 911 emergency services, determine's the user's location, and captures photos and live video through the phone's cameras. 

The app also uses facial recognition to determine the user's mood and recognize anger signals and offers access to calming resources such as music and videos.

The app is currently the subject of a funding campaign on Indiegogo. Developers hope to raise $12,000 to pay for services and programmers. Early backers can get discounts on the app and service packages.

For more details, check the video below and visit the Calmmie website, the Indiegogo page, and @CalmmieA on Twitter. 


Written by

Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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