Smiling Mind and VERSA help Australians access mindfulness in isolation

7 September 2020

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Google Assistant can connect anyone with free content via a natural conversational manner from any room in the home.

While spending considerable periods at home can present significant challenges, it also unlocks an opportunity for Australians to reconnect with themselves, and build positive mental health habits that help now and into the future.

A leading Australian not-for-profit in the mental health space, Smiling Mind, is helping Australians do exactly that.

The organisation, whose popular meditation app was recently added to Google Assistant, partnered with enterprise digital and conversational experience agency VERSA to develop a voice-based experience that is accessible to more people in the home.

As we continue to follow social distancing laws and stay indoors, smart speakers are beginning to play an increasingly helpful role in our lives.

Now that Smiling Mind is connected to smart speakers, it makes practising mindfulness in the home simple for all.

Google Assistant can connect anyone with free content via a natural conversational manner from any room in the home.

Meditation can take place in the bath, bedroom or backyard – simply by asking Smiling Mind for a meditation.

VERSA and Smiling Mind wanted the voice experience to be real and peaceful, introducing earcons to indicate the start of a mediation and replacing the built-in Google Assistant synthetic voice, with the calming voice regularly heard in Smiling Mind meditations.

Smiling Mind chief product officer Nick Cust says it is vital to help people discover mindfulness in new and exciting ways at home.

“Whether someone is accessing Smiling Mind meditations for the first time, or they’re a long-time user - the experience must be seamless and natural," Cust says.

"We’ve delivered our first iteration of a voice experience that enables everyone to gain a greater connection to sleep, focus and relaxation; all through voice commands, driven by natural language processing. The uptake has been substantial with thousands of regular users already, showing the increased need to engage and practice mindfulness in the home.

“The experience can integrate directly with your account, so if you’ve signed up to the Smiling Mind app, you can continue on with meditation from where you left off. We’ve also made it fully voice accessible, opening up the Smiling Mind experience to more Australians and people globally.”

VERSA CEO Kath Blackham says she was pleased to be able to support Smiling Mind in its quest to make mindfulness more accessible to all Australians.

“Now more than ever, looking after our mental health is so important and Smiling Mind gives us all a way to stay connected with our inner selves, accessing meditations from anywhere in our home," Blackham says.

"VERSA is committed to helping people do their life’s work, and we are proud that this conversational experience is creating peace in a time of crisis."

If you could do with some mindful meditation in your day-to-day life, just say “Hey Google, meditate with Smiling Mind.”

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