[App Fridays] Omvana, 500 Startups funded company, aims to do for meditation what the iPod did for music

28th Nov 2014
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“Before embarking on important undertakings sit quietly, calm your senses and thoughts and meditate deeply. You will then be guided by the great creative power of Spirit.”

― ParamahansaYogananda

Meditation and yoga once considered only for sadhus and saints, has now transcended boundaries, geographies and even age groups. With science providing proof of its benefits, more people are taking it up.

Omvana, a Silicon Valley-based startup which was incubated at Mindvalley, came out with a product in 2012 to help users meditate with the help of their smartphones or desktops. The ‘wellness industry’ is estimated to be $80 billion dollars, and Omvana aims to capture this segment with its product.


Related read: 6 life lessons from B K S Iyengar, the pioneer who took Yoga global


 

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What is it about?

Omvana is a web browser and mobile-based application that provides high quality audio tracks for meditation, sleep, relaxation, focus and productivity. One of the USPs of the product is that like a DJ, users can customize their tracks and choose an ambient background sound to compliment the vocal track that is playing. The categories offered include body, mind, lifestyle, hypnosis, relationships, and brainwaves. The app was also a 2014 iOS 8 Featured HealthKit App.

Technology used

Omvana is powered by sound technology, including Brainwave entertainment audios that soothe the user into deeper states of consciousness. Medical-grade self-hypnosis audios discipline users’ wayward subconscious, eliminate unwanted thoughts and habits, and sleep aids to help insomniacs sleep more easily.

The app also has the capability to tap into Apple’s new HealthKit framework to monitor and optimize users’ physiological wellbeing. By using Apple’s centralized health information framework, apps like Omvana can keep track of its users’ vital signs, and responses.

Pricing and availability

The iOS app is free, but has in-app purchases in the form of individual tracks. The web version is $9.99 a month for unlimited access to all tracks. For Android users the company is aiming for a release between Q1 and Q2 2015.

Omvana

Omvana was founded in 2012 as an incubator project of Mindvalley, an education and technology company that is now one of the biggest publishers of online personal growth content.

The CEO of Omvana, Kshitij Minglani, realized that there were music streaming services available but there wasn’t anything substantial for meditation and wellness. So, along with help from Mindvalley they commissioned some of their top meditation coaches, wellness professionals and hypnosis experts to record their first batch of transformational audios. They now have over 500 with thousands of possible customizations.

Mindvalley has since transitioned Omvana into an independent company. The app has approximately five million downloads, 15 million unique sessions, and 37 number one spots on Apple’s health & fitness chart. They are funded by 500 Startups and are also partnering with activity tracker wearable, Spire, to create a new level of integration between software and hardware.

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What works?

The web browser and the mobile app have good UI and UX with the audio tracks classified according to their category and well as time duration. A short introduction and background information is also provided about each track.

As I had some prior experience is dabbling with audio tracks like the Silva Method and BrainSync by Kelly Howell, I found the concept of customising and choosing different ambient background sounds to compliment the vocal track refreshing and unique.

What could be improved?

While the audio tracks and content is high on quality, we would love to see some custom content for the Indian audiences with narrations in Indian regional languages as well.

YS verdict

With a good mix of content and a growing volume of tracks available for different segments, Omvana has the potential to help users with daily doses of inspiration, relaxation, and relief from insomnia etc.

Website : Omvana 

If you are an app developer and have developed an interesting app, please reach out to harshith@yourstory.com

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