Campus News

Student's calming apps help users deal with COVID-19 stress

Screen shot from the App store of the Peaceful Sounds: Sleep & Focus app developed by Anant Patni.

Anant Patni developed the Peaceful Sounds: Sleep & Focus app, which is a collection of soothing sounds to alleviate stress.


Published March 27, 2020

“During this intense situation of COVID-19, I hope the sounds of nature and city life will help anyone in distress, and allow inner peace to be reinstated. ”
Anant Patni, computer science major and developer
Pulse and Peaceful Sounds

With the COVID-19 pandemic raising stress levels dramatically, a UB student is offering some virtual relief.

Anant Patni, a junior computer science major, has created Pulse: Listen & Relax and Peaceful Sounds, two apps that feature soothing sounds to help users sleep, study, focus and relax.

Pulse, which Patni created with Angad Minhas, a senior biostatistics major, was first released last spring; it was originally developed with finals in mind.

“I saw my own classmates going through severe anxiety and depression, and so it just felt right to develop something that can calm anyone down instantly,” says Patni.

But the COVID-19 pandemic offers another opportunity for the apps to bring comfort to students — as well as faculty and staff, and users outside of UB.

“During this intense situation of COVID-19,” Patni says, “I hope the sounds of nature and city life will help anyone in distress, and allow inner peace to be reinstated.”

Learning from the “amazing feedback” he received after launching Pulse, Patni last fall created Peaceful Sounds, which he calls “a completely revamped, reimagined, and much more user-friendly version” of Pulse.

In both apps, users can select from a range of categories, among them “nature,” “sleep,” “study” and “animals,” with a handful of soothing sounds within each category. From the nature category, for instance, users can choose from “Amazon,” “waves,” “forest,” “deep sea,” “fireplace,” “stars” and “light rain,” among others.

Patni’s personal favorites: “aurora” and “stars,” both available in Peaceful Sounds’ nature category.

"Pulse" app screen shot.

Pulse: Listen & Relax is an app designed by undergraduate students Anant Patni and Angad Minhas that provides soothing sounds to help users relax.

“I want users to take a break, open the app, choose their favorite sound, and listen and relax,” says Patni, who made the apps free of charge to encourage students to use them during finals and beyond.

Both apps have been well received — Pulse currently has a user rating of 4.8 out of 5 and Peaceful Sounds has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 in the iTunes store.

“My aim is to see Pulse and Peaceful Sounds become personal companions for people all around the world,” Patni says, adding that usability is one of the reasons he kept the app small — at 25 MB — so that storage space would not be an issue for users.

“Within UB, I really want it on every phone of every student, faculty and staff,” he says. “UB is where all the design and development for the apps started, and I really hope that the community can benefit from them.”

He notes that he will continue to update Peaceful Sounds, “because users seem to like the design and flow of it more than Pulse. All in all, it’s very subjective and varies from user to user.”

Patni is the developer of 12 apps — mostly pertaining to productivity, with more on the way.

Pulse and Peaceful Sounds are available for both the iPhone and iPad, and can be downloaded from the iTunes store here.