ANA’s app for anxious airline passengers

Anxious about flying?

ANA (All Nippon Airways) has an app for you.

Released just in time for the holidays, when people find flying even more stressful than usual, the ‘ANA Takeoff Mode’ app offers fliers a simple, distracting puzzle (users must maneuver a ball on screen to collect points), along with relaxing music.

Designed to be used during take-off, when anxious fliers are often the most fearful – and when passengers are now allowed to keep their electronic devices turned on (officially) – the app somehow also measures the amplitude and frequency response of the ambient noise inside the aircraft cabin and, when the aircraft’s engines are at full throttle during takeoff, a special animation and message is triggered.

Would you find this useful?

Send a souvenir postcard – from your phone

Sure, we’re all high-tech these days. But don’t you still like getting an old-fashioned paper postcard in the mail once in while?

For a while, it seemed that digital cameras and camera-equipped mobile devices were making carrier-delivered postcards obsolete. But, for’s Overhead Bin, I found some apps that make it easy — and fun — to turn digital images into high-quality, personalized, and in some cases, scented postcards that arrive in the mail.

Cartolina Postale

Cartolina is predominantly a paper greeting card company with an app that allows users to send text and e-mail messages with vintage imagery, but last month the company rolled out the Cartolina Postale app that allows users to mail postcards that mix the company’s signature designs with their own pictures.


Launched in April 2011 by Sincerely, Inc., Postagram allows users to turn a digital photo into a mailed postcard with a pop-out picture.

And then there’s Postcard on the Run.
In addition to a feature that lets you ‘sign’ the postcard with your finger, the company offers the option of sending Smell Mail.

Users can add a scratch ‘n smell coating in one of 11 different scents, including baby powder, chocolate, popcorn, bubble gum, holiday spice and Teen Spirit.

Those were just a few of the apps I found for the story. Other options for sending paper postcards via your smartphone include Touchnote, Postcardly and Halftone, which turn photos into vintage comic postcards.