What is calm technology and why do we need it?

Calm tech makes the best of humanity and the best of technology. This is why communities are part of the calm tech revolution.

Go to the profile of Charles Thiede
Dec 11, 2019
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As a society, we’ve become used to responding to the various rings, pings and push notifications from our devices. As the world becomes increasingly connected, it’s getting noisier. A trend that frustrates and distracts many of us. 

Calm tech is the concept that counters this. The term was coined in 1995 by Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown, in reaction to the increasing complexities that information technologies were creating. This idea has been taken further by Amber Case in her book ‘Designing Calm Technology’, which explores how technology can help us to focus on the things that matter, without panicking us. “Technology shouldn’t require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary.” says Case.

It’s something I feel passionate about - because the world doesn’t need more complexity and noise. Technology should amplify the best of technology and the best of humanity.That’s why Zapnito’s communities are designed around calm tech principles.

A better way to communicate

Zapnito was born out of a need for a better way to communicate and share. It actively counteracts the attention economy by empowering members to choose what they see and when they see it. Our focus isn’t on constantly bombarding people with messages. Instead, we want to simplify the way people engage with content. On their own terms, with insight that’s relevant and useful to them. 

This is a core characteristic of calm tech. It’s about pulling members into discussions, not pushing communications into their day. Because members can decide what content and expertise is valuable to them, their attention is spent on things that add value to their lives.

People-first

Calm tech designs products around each user. Like making the most important features (to the user) the most accessible on-screen. 

When members interact with a Zapnito community, they will see the latest and most relevant content first. They can decide to join ‘rooms’ that tailor content and discussions to their interests. For instance, if someone is visiting a conference and wants to network with other attendees, they can opt into the relevant room. If not, they won’t get served the event’s content. 

It streamlines members’ lives, requiring their attention only when they’ll gain something from it and when that attention is needed. Giving them more time and brainpower to work on other things. 

Improving human connections

Calm tech centers on keeping interactions human - in a world where more things are becoming computerized. Sharing knowledge, discussing trends and communicating our views are uniquely human traits that Zapnito celebrates and helps foster. Our technology augments what comes naturally to humans. With our communities, you can share your thoughts with peers on everything from global immunizations and workplace wellness to 3D printing innovations in healthcare. 

Lasting relationships

For organizations, creating a community that’s tailored to your audience is invaluable. Cutting through all other communications to create lasting relationships. It makes your brand human and creates value for your prospects and customers. Using a platform that uses someone’s attention on their own terms reduces the annoyance that can come from more attention-seeking channels.

A new level

With calm tech as our framework, Zapnito is designed for people first. Making sure that our technology doesn’t try to take away from the human experience. It improves it, amplifying our need for community and taking it to a whole new level. In a non-distracting way that can be set by each individual. 

Calm tech ROI

While many of our competitors are borrowing their inspiration from Facebook and Twitter, this now feels like an old approach. Calm tech creates a stickier and healthier experience that is real. Community members don’t want a bombardment of dopamine triggers. They get enough of that through their social media pings. They want a human experience connecting them with humans. Their peers. Their mentors. Their mentees. Their experts. Human intelligence is far more powerful than machine intelligence will ever be.

Learn more about Calm Technology from Amber Case herself:


Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash

Go to the profile of Charles Thiede

Charles Thiede

CEO & Co-Founder, Zapnito

My background is in technology, professional services and digital media. I co-founded Zapnito due to a number of related observations from my time in these sectors: 1) the social web is creating a huge amount of noise 2) expertise that brands have built up over decades is being drowned out and hidden from those that need it 3) these brands are therefore losing their audience to often undeserving and unhelpful sources, and 4) people are finding it harder to access the expertise that they truly value. I therefore decided to create Zapnito, a white-label platform to help trusted brands reclaim their audiences via expert-driven knowledge networks.

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