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Havas Launches ‘Staybl’ App to Improve Digital Experience for People with Parkinson’s Disease


First-of-its-kind technology provides those suffering from tremors to enriched access to smart devices

Havas Launches ‘Staybl’ App to Improve Digital Experience for People with Parkinson’s Disease

Havas Creative announced today the launch of Staybl, the first web browser technology designed to compensate for hand tremors and improve access to digital experiences for those living with Parkinson's Disease and other essential tremor conditions.

Millions of people worldwide suffer from tremors, a disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking in one or more parts of the body, most often affecting the hands. In today's hands-on, digital-first world, people with tremors are presented with access challenges when interacting with smart devices, like tablets and phones.

The Staybl app, which is free to download, uses the smart device's internal accelerometer data to create visual countermovements in real time when the tablet is shaken, instantly moving in the opposite direction of a tremor, and keeping the display steady on the screen.

For over two years, teams from Havas New York, a certified B Corp, and Havas Germany worked together to develop Staybl, with the goal of bringing attention to the fact that accessibility options in smart devices still leave the needs of many populations unmet. Parkinson's Disease alone impacts 10 million adults globally, with a staggering 70 percent of those diagnosed experiencing tremors. In addition, there are millions of other people around the world who experience essential tremors – ranging from children to ex-professional athletes – who will benefit from this innovation.

"We always talk about how technology should improve our lives, but we don't naturally include everyone in those benefits," said Eric Schoeffler, CCO Havas Germany and ECD Europe. "Staybl is not a medicine, nor is it a cure. However, it's a technological solution that can provide easier access to the digital world for all people with Parkinson's and tremors."

Dedicated to championing an inclusive and accessible world for all, the teams worked with experts at the German Parkinson's Association and patients in Germany and the US to test, augment, and improve every aspect of the design experience. Nuanced yet critical examples of design features include the removal of swipe and slide gestures, vertically arranged buttons, larger typography, and the use of other visual elements to increase readability. 

"Parkinson's is a disease that confronts those affected with everyday challenges that are not top of mind in society. We are grateful for Havas' commitment to inclusivity and looking beyond traditional medicine therapies to make a difference," commented Friedrich-Wilhelm Mehrhoff, managing director of the German Parkinson Association (GPA). "We appreciate the collaboration with Havas and believe that the Staybl app can improve the lives of those suffering from Parkinson's." 

The passion and focus of the project teams to use creativity and technology to solve a global issue also points to Havas New York's deep commitment to deliver meaningful work that can positively transform people and planet—a core attribute of its B Corp certification.  

"Staybl underscores what is possible when creatives and technologists come together to positively change the way we experience the world we live in. Our hope is that Staybl will be a catalyst for change and its accessibility features will be native to the smart devices we use every single day," said Dan Lucey, chief creative officer, Havas New York. "I'm a firm believer in using business as a force for good, and Staybl is just one of the ways we are doing that." 

Staybl is the result of pro bono collaboration between teams at Havas New York and Havas Germany. The app is currently available on iPads due to the wider availability of significantly faster display refresh rates, with the goal of further developing the technology to make it accessible to other devices in the future.

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Havas North America, Tue, 05 Apr 2022 15:49:15 GMT