- ADHD expert Dr Ned Hallowell joins Focus@Will Science Team April 8, 2014 9:12 pm
We’re very excited to announce that psychiatrist and author Dr Ned Hallowell has joined our science team. He is a a leading authority in the field of ADHD, a NY Times best selling author and the founder of the Hallowell centers in New York and Boston. He uses the Focus@Will system himself when he is writing his books. We are working together on several new projects including new music channels specifically aimed at helping people with ADHD.
- New Baroque Piano Channel live March 10, 2014 9:13 pm
New beta channel launched today, Baroque Piano. Yes, we know that anyone with a knowledge of music instrument history will be shaking their heads right now, as the piano was not yet actually invented during this era. But we have found that there is something very soothing and hypnotic about the way that baroque music has an almost mechanical repetition when played on a modern instrument. Let us know how you like it. It’s been a crowd pleaser here at the lab.
- Company founder, Will Henshall in depth podcast interview with IBQ team February 11, 2014 3:54 pm
Here’s an interview that our CEO/founder Will Henshall did for the Internet Business Questions podcast. It’s a candid, frank and in depth QA session with a great interviewer, Chris Smit. Will talks about how being in a band is just like being in a start up company and goes into detail about the underlying science behind the f@w technology. Click here to hear it!
- New Water Environmental Test channels launched January 21, 2014 11:26 am
Two new experimental channels are now live on the system – Water Test 1 and Water Test 2. These are specially recorded sounds of various kinds of water – waves, rivers, brooks, rain and so on. Each channel contains similar content, except that one channel has very subtle additional subliminal entrainment. Take a listen and see if either of these channels help you focus or concentrate better at various times of the day. If you find generally that these water sounds do help you, then try swapping between Water Test 1 and Water Test 2 and see if one or the other helps you focus better. Also let us know which flavor of water helps you – do you prefer the waves? Or maybe the rain? Or the little streams? Let us know what you think!
- Productivity Tracker use now optional. January 13, 2014 3:43 pm
System updated today with requested new Pro Focus functionality. You can now optionally turn off the Productivity Tracker dialog that appears when you stop a session anytime after 25 minutes of playback. To turn this back on again swipe or click to the right to access the Productivity tracker data screen and select Enable Productivity Tracker. To access this new feature you will need to log out and back into the system. We also fixed a number of bugs and streamlined some other features.
- Give a focus@will gift account! December 24, 2013 12:19 pm
Happy holidays from the focus@will team! And to celebrate we’ve got a special gift account offer – buy family, friends, co workers a year of Pro focus and save up to 25% per account. Offer good until 12/26. Click here for details.
- Some feedback from patrons about the new ADHD experiemental channel December 10, 2013 10:15 am
Sharing a couple of typical responses from focus@will patrons with ADHD about the new experimental channel. Data in so far shows that about 20% of patrons who tried it have had excellent response to it. And 80% found that it didn’t work at all.
“I just called my 9 year old son in to take a listen. I didn’t tell him which ‘channel’ of F@W I was putting on. I simply asked him to let me know which channel made him feel relaxed and soothed (i.e. to sleep) and which he felt was more focusing. His feedback was that the ADHD channel and the spa / nature channel were the most focusing and that the others were more sleep-inducing. I decided to leave the ADHD (set to high) on in the background while I asked him several more unrelated questions about ‘deep subjects’…. and he was WAY engaged and articulate in his answers. I do not have ADHD… listening to this music is very difficult for me. But, it is the perfect example of just how differently we are wired. And that… is very helpful to remember. I’ll have him listen with headphones or in his room….Thumbs up!!”
About the worst experience I could imagine focus-wise
“Tried the ADD beta–maybe I have a special kind of ADD, but that was about the worst experience I could imagine focus-wise. Besides the fact that the music was grating, I found it incredibly distracting at any volume short of mute. I have had consistent success with the classical music set at “high” for energy level. I can regularly work through several 100-minute sessions with only 5 minute breaks between. Pre-focus@will, my attention span for grading (I teach college English) was 20-30 minutes before I felt like I needed a 15-minute break, and that was with the benefit of daily ADHD meds. “
- Hey, why do I keep hearing the same music all the time? December 6, 2013 9:13 pm
Because you are signed in as a free Personal user! There are 2 levels of accounts on the focus@will service. Personal (free) and Pro (paid). Free Personal users are limited to 1 hour timed music sessions in each channel (in other words the music repeats after 60 minutes and then you will hear the exact same material again) and have limited access to the personalizing features such as being able to adjust session timer length and use the productivity tracker. Pro Accounts are paid subscriptions and have unlimited access to the entire music library with all personalizing features including customizing timed session lengths, tracking your productivity, tuning the Global Intensity controller to extend your attention span as fatigue sets in, multiple device log in and access to previously played artist information. Go Pro to unlock your focus!
- New Experimental ADD Beta Test channel December 4, 2013 7:14 pm
We have added a new experimental channel to the system today. It’s called “ADD Beta Test”. It’s a fast, very high energy, very intense genre of dark hardcore techno. If you suffer from diagnosed ADD, or just really have serious trouble concentrating at work or study, try this out. It’s kinda crazy, and we know won’t work for everyone. We have posted about 2 hours of material initially to see if this works for anyone. The basis of the science hypothesis behind this is that the more ADD you have, the more energy you need in the audio/musical background stimulus to help you concentrate. We’ve found a couple of our in house testers really like it! Check it out and let us know if this helps you or not. Here’s a fascinating post on the community page from a patron who’s 9 year old son loves this new channel, it really helps him concentrate. It seems to work for a subset of ADHD sufferers, but not for all!
- If you are having log in problems with iOS app, here's the solution November 17, 2013 2:56 pm
We pushed an update to the server at the end of last week that requires some iOS users to restart their mobile app. If you are getting the red spinning dots on your iPhone/iPad then do the following to be able to log in again: 1) Press the home button to get to the home screen. 2) Double click the home button again. Scroll through the apps until you see focus@will. 3) Flick the app screen upwards to force quit the focus@will app. 4) Press the home button again 5) Run the focus@will app again and you should be in business!
- Will Henshall, company founder's TEDx talk last week November 7, 2013 3:37 pm
Will Henshall (focus@will Founder/CEO) did a TEDx talk all about focus and music last week in Brussels. It’s funny and informative and has some interesting background on what lead him to create focus@will. The title of the talk is “Why you’re not getting laid and why you can’t get stuff done at work!” No reason not to watch that, surely.
- Now fixed! Known problem with Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks and Safari October 24, 2013 10:01 am
This has now been fixed. Safari on Mavericks is all good! If you had changed your Flash settings in the Safari preferences as suggested in this post previously, please return to the default.
- New iOS app available in the iTunes store is iOS 7 compatible! September 21, 2013 2:43 pm
If you use an Apple iOS device to access focus@will, please update your app by going to this link! We’ve fixed a couple of important bugs related to new Pro subscriptions not being accessed right away, some other network related reliability issues and made it iOS7 compatible. If you have just updated to iOS 7 please uninstall the focus@will app on your device and then go to the iTunes store and install it again! This fixes a couple of Apple related iOS 7 bugs…
- Paypal now a payment option September 15, 2013 3:09 pm
More requested features and upgrades to the system over the past week. We added Paypal as a payment option on Friday.
- New account structure and lots of bug fixes now live September 11, 2013 12:22 pm
- New versions of focus@will iOS and Android mobile apps available August 11, 2013 12:03 pm
Many things included in this update. We have fixed bugs related to internet connectivity, Facebook sign in, player bugs and loading times, player stability issues, added in-app updates, in-app reviews, Facebook sharing and the new Intensity Control feature and more.
- New experimental "Music Energy" control August 6, 2013 11:00 am
We have just released a new experimental feature for our web platform called the Music Energy Control. You can find it under the channel changer drop down on the top right of the app.
It changes the overall amount of perceived “energy” in your music stream by changing various parameters of the playlist sequencers on the server. The default setting is “Medium” intensity. Think of it like a plus/minus gear shift control in your car. You can stay where you are or go to a higher gear or drop to a lower gear.
As you work or study during the day your focus fatigue level increases and it usually becomes more difficult to concentrate, particularly in the later afternoon. When this happens try changing the intensity control – either up or down. This is an experimental feature at this stage because our initial tests showed us that sometimes moving to more intensity and sometimes moving to less intensity helps sustain focus over a longer period. So we don’t yet know what we should recommend, we just know that changing the intensity one way or another seems to help you sustain your attention and continue reducing distractions over a much longer time frame. Let us know what is working for you and we’ll tune up this feature more if it is helping enough people. You will find that the changes to the playlist are subtle, not something you will necessarily notice immediately.
Remember, the focus@will technology is playing a music stream for your subconscious mind, which reacts differently to musical/audio stimuli than your conscious mind, ie the concept of the system is to have the music “zone out” distraction and not to be actively listened to. To access the new functionality on the web simply refresh your browser window. Note this feature is also now available in our latest mobile apps – download the Android mobile app from the Google Play store here and get the iOS app from the iTunes store here.
- Why no pause button? August 3, 2013 6:03 pm
We’ve been asked this question a few times recently, and the answer is to do with the science behind the technology. There is no pause button on the focus@will system because if you reach out and control the music transport, by definition you are no longer focused exclusively on your task, ie you have stopped working, studying or reading! Focus@will works by playing specific timed sequences of specially curated instrumental music that “zone out” external distractions for most people. Ideally you shouldn’t notice the individual pieces of music at all. The audio stream should “disappear” from your conscious attention and simply facilitate you getting on with what you are trying do with no distractions. Research has shown that there is an optimal sequence of audio and musical attributes that help induce you into a “flow state”. If you pause and then resume the music stream from where ever you stopped, the timing effect on your subconscious attention will not be as effective, as the next piece of music in the sequence will be designed to sustain, and not restart your focus state. So when you stop the music and then restart, the system starts a new set from the beginning. More about how this works here.
- Major system update this week July 20, 2013 7:30 pm
We’ve updated the entire system this week. To access the new features refresh your browser, or reboot your mobile application. You’ll find a new “Recently Heard Artists” music info page (click on the music note on the lower right of the interface), easier ways to share the focus@will experience with your social network and better reliability and performance overall, especially with bad quality network connections. We’ve also fine tuned the phase sequencer playlist algorithm, added a lot of new music tracks and made a significant update to the focus@will mobile applications – the iOS and Android apps will available on the iTunes and Google Play store in the next few days. Stay focused out there, people!
- Focus Fatigue July 15, 2013 12:26 pm
There are many factors that affect your ability focus such as your brain type, your physical surroundings, your levels of hydration, hunger and physical tiredness, and your “focus fatigue”, ie how long you have been trying to concentrate in any given period. We are doing a study on how focus fatigue can be reduced by changing specific channels on the focus@will system during a typical working day and will report on recommendations. If you have found a particularly good combo, ie start with Up Tempo in the early morning, Alpha Chill late morning followed by Classical and the back to Up Tempo for the rest of the day let us know.