Creator of meditation app gets into Ben Johnson’s headspace

Ben Johnson and Levi Sharpe Mar 15, 2016
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Andy Puddicombe, creator of the Headspace meditation app. Stephanie Hughes/Marketplace Tech

Creator of meditation app gets into Ben Johnson’s headspace

Ben Johnson and Levi Sharpe Mar 15, 2016
Andy Puddicombe, creator of the Headspace meditation app. Stephanie Hughes/Marketplace Tech
HTML EMBED:
COPY

In the barbecue and tech filled hustle and bustle of South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, it’s good to get away and clear the mind.

Marketplace Tech host, Ben Johnson, escaped from the Austin Convention Center to an outdoor terrace behind the Four Seasons Hotel, facing the Colorado River. He met up with Andy Puddicombe, former buddhist monk and creator of Headspace, a meditation app that guides users through mindfulness techniques. The app has 6 million users, and the irony of teaching ancient principles to so many people on a modern platform is not lost on Puddicombe. 

“If we want people to try meditation then it’s important that we meet them where they are, and right now that is on their phone,” said Puddicombe. “It’s clearly the way we relate to it, which defines our experience of it.”

In the future, the platform could also be integrated with wearables, said Puddicombe. A user might wear a watch that monitors the heart rate, and if a stressful situation causes the rate spike, the watch could alert the user and recommend a short mindfulness exercise, he said. 

Watch Puddicombe lead Johnson, a Headspace skeptic, through a meditation exercise.

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