From an application that monitors your sleep cycle to ones that tell you exactly what is in a food product to others helping you to scan in checks for a quick bank deposit, the iPhone has found a new way to help you manage your life. A recent addition to the thousands of applications already on the market is Bipolar Bear, and unlike some other entertaining applications, this one has an unlikely deeper purpose. The Bear is a cartoon character that randomly lets you know how it feels at any given moment of the day. Developed by medical hypnotherapist Scott Sandland, the application is meant to be both funny and philanthropic at the same time.
While the application is turned on, the cute, little polar bear face is shown on the screen while he lets you know what is on his mind. For instance, if he is happy, he may blurt out, “Let’s Go Give Hugs to Strangers!” On the other hand if he is depressed, the bear might tell you he hates you. The application is meant to be a tongue and cheek depiction of bipolar disorder. In fact, the co-creator of the application, Mark Braden, has a family member with bipolar disorder. He explained to Press Media Wire that it can be a devastating disability that impacts all areas of your life. Although the condition is very serious, both Mark and co-creator Scott also wanted to add some laughter into the condition. What is most important and surprising about the application, however, is that it is actually a vehicle for philanthropy. When you download the application, thirty percent of the net proceeds will be donated to non-profit organizations that help those who suffer with bipolar disorder. Moreover, users can help to choose which organizations should receive the money first.
Braden and Sandland have a goal to sell at least one million applications, which would result in a $200,000 donation to various charities. It is an exciting and innovative way to raise money, and hopefully, to also bring more recognition to the disability. The application can be manipulated regarding its settings and does not always have to be set for the bear to make remarks. However, the real purpose behind the application will have already taken place with the purchase and subsequent donation to charity. The real question is whether the application will appeal to users. Would a Bipolar Bear be something you would enjoy or do you think it is insulting to the disorder?