Developer: Irmtraud Haldenberger
Price: $9.99 Download on the App Store
For busy people, their phone may be a source of stress perpetuating the “always on” way of life, but with the right app, can’t it also be a source of inspiration? Maybe. Given that there are a few different schools of thought when it comes to the power of meditation and mental preparation for life balance and success, the answer to whether or not an app can help you develop focus and concentration is best left to the experts. And expert research is what LotBraining Mental Training for Personal Development claims to bring to iOS devices.
The developers say that LotBraining is based on similar training techniques used in NASA’s space exploration program. The app addresses seven key areas of personal and professional development – success, joy, relaxation, confidence, courage, health, and motivation — with training modules designed to teach users to "focus and streamline one's own mental processes."
Focus is “practiced” by concentrating on a slowly pulsating symbol that represents a specific characteristic. Simple instructions remind you that breathing can enhance the experience. When you’re finished, take a short “test” composed of a series of three questions that is supposed to assess how much of each characteristic you possess. You can take the quiz as many times as you want, and the app will track your "progress" as you move through the training, hopefully to become more proficient, confident and focused in each area.
In addition to the basic training and testing incorporated into LotBraining Mental Training for Personal Development, there is also a note feature designed to allow the user to record positive thoughts or actions as well as a reminder function for desired tasks or goals. If you’re really stressed and worried that you don’t have time to relax or may forget at the end of a busy day, you could even set a reminder to practice your relaxation.
To be honest, LotBraining fails to impress me — at least from the perspective of a $10 application. One of the primary reasons is that as an aid for personal reflection and meditation, it fails to provide any valuable insight into the proper breathing techniques associated with the practice. Granted, it reminds you to be conscious of breathing in and out “freely,” but breathing techniques are always pivotal to meditation – at least in the classes I’ve took. Users without the proper training will likely be unable to use the app to its full potential.
Disregarding the fact that NASA research is the impetus behind LotBraining Mental Training for Personal Development, the price is also a bit of a sticker shock. By not offering beginning users a base of training LotBraining doesn’t really provide anything exceptional. It's essentially a point of focus for meditation combined with an electronic journal.
I won’t discredit the merit of a meditation app for iPhone or the concepts behind it. LotBraining is itself a good concept, if only it offered more training on the process of Mental Training for Personal Development or had a price that was more in line with the actual set of in-app features.
Have you used LotBraining Mental Training for Personal Development? Share your experience with a comment below!