Say Goodbye To Jetlag With Timeshifter, An App That Helps You Deal With Timezone Differences
October 2, 2019
If you are a frequent traveller, or someone who simply hates the thought of jetlag, Timeshifter is definitely right up your alley.
A refreshing concept in the travel industry, Timeshifter is an app made for the masses. Regardless if you're travelling for business or for luxury, everyone is bound to face jetlag at some point in their lives. It is an inescapable condition for people like you and me, and let's be honest - we don't really know how to deal with it when it comes.
This is why Timeshifter is so important in this era, where travel is essentially a commodity - it gives you realistic advice that suits your personal travel plans and individual needs. Instead of adhering to generic advice that tells you to "sleep early!" or "avoid caffeine!", Timeshifter gives you a breakdown of your tasks for the day based on the timezone you're situated in. It can't get any better than this.
The Travel Pad speaks to Mickey, the architect behind Timeshifter, to talk more about his revolutionary innovation.
Tell us more about yourself!
At the essence, I am a Danish-born, New York-based serial entrepreneur and philanthropist. I am interested in building genre-defining companies that create innovations that can improve the human and planetary condition.
As such, I have co-founded both Timeshifter and Mental Workout, both of which services are aimed at advancing human wellbeing. I am also the founder and Chairman of Happiness Foundation, a form of philanthropy service that provides pro bono consulting services rather than money to nonprofits.
Over the past 2 decades, I have involved myself in various innovations and initiatives, such as promoting Denmark’s interests abroad. Ever since I have moved to New York in 2006, I have helped facilitate connections between Danish and American companies, as well as contribute to several events that help inspire collaboration between both countries.
Tell us what Timeshifter is about, and what is the goal of the application?
Timeshifter® - The Jet Lag App® - is developed with world-renowned scientists, based on the latest research in sleep and circadian neuroscience. With Timeshifter, you can create your own personalized jet lag plans based on your sleep pattern, chronotype, itinerary, and optional preferences such as pre-travel adjustment or the use of melatonin for even faster adaptation.
Timeshifter incorporates a real-world Practicality Filter™, ensuring that the advice is realistic and easy to follow; there is also a unique Quick Turnaround™ feature for business travellers who want to be at their best during short business trips that are not long enough to allow full adjustment. An intuitive notification system provides simple yet powerful advice, even while in-flight.
What inspired the development of Timeshifter?
I met Steven Lockley, Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School about 3 years ago. Dr. Lockley is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, and a world-renowned expert in sleep and circadian rhythms.
When we met, he was already producing jet lag plans for NASA and Formula 1 drivers to name a few, but it was on a concierge basis, making it too expensive for ordinary travellers. Nonetheless, Dr. Lockley wanted to bring the solution to all travellers, which then formed the basis for Timeshifter as a company.
Some may ask – Why Timeshifter? What is the purpose of this application and what does it aim to tackle?
Well firstly, we feel that Timeshifter is important as it addresses a completely untouched problem that significantly affects millions of travellers each day, in terms of performance, enjoyment, health, and related costs for companies, families, and society (wasted salary, wasted cost, cost of errors, etc.).
Also, there exists no generic solution that can help travellers tackle the underlying cause of jet lag. Such generic approaches might even be counterproductive and worsen the case of jet lag; hence, a personalized approach is necessary
Lastly, the Timeshifter jet lag app and the entire basis for Timeshifter as a company, is a recognition that all other attempts to help travellers with jet lag have failed because they do not address the underlying cause. Thus, Timeshifter is key in addressing the issue of jet lag that afflicts every individual of all ages, and from all walks of life.
What unseen opportunities did you see in the travel industry that propelled your start-up?
Few in the travel industry understand the science of jet lag. Therefore, they try to help travellers based on several wrong assumptions.
For instance, they might be unaware that the timing of light exposure is key to eliminating jet lag, and that it can be the difference between a successful trip or a miserable one. Seeing light, avoiding light, or sleeping at the wrong time can shift your rhythms in the wrong direction, making your jet lag worse.
On the other hand, airlines and hotels are also trying to provide comfort and wellness, but they are missing the circadian science, which goes beyond our normal understanding of sleep and wellness.
Thus, offering a better bed, for example, is of little benefit if the traveller sees light, avoids light, or sleeps at the wrong time. Timeshifter is then a critical foundation, regardless of the traveller is travelling for business, going on vacation, or competing in a sports event abroad. To us, Timeshifter is the only way to optimize performance, enjoyment, and health when travelling
An industry prone to technology disruptions, why do you think Timeshifter is able to sustain and succeed in the travel domain?
Our number 1 priority is to always offer the best jet lag solution in the world. We will do that by always applying the latest in sleep and circadian neuroscience, to constantly enhance the algorithm and app based on user feedback.
Additionally, we are also committed to fine-tuning our designs continuously in order to deliver the most user-friendly experience. We do file a lot of patents to defend ourselves from competitors trying to copy our ideas as well.
What was the biggest hurdle you have encountered thus far and how has it affected the way you manage Timeshifter?
The biggest hurdle has been to come up with a user-experience design that’s intuitive. Another challenge includes coming up with an algorithm that delivers realistic advice which users could easily follow and comply with.
In this sense, this is when our real-world Practicality Filter™ comes into the picture. It ensures that the advice is realistic and easy to follow, while still being based on the latest in sleep and circadian neuroscience.
If you are not doing your startup, what would you be doing?
The world of startups means everything to me – I simply have to build something from scratch! The gratification of seeing people use a product or service I have been part of creating is what drives me.
Name one person who inspires you and tell us why and how he/she inspires you!
If avoiding the obvious: Mother, wife, children, and family members who have all influenced who I am, which I am grateful for beyond words, I would probably say the Dalai Lama!
The Dalai Lama made me realize that “happiness is felt by making other people happy”. For me, life is about connecting with family and friends (in that order). Although I absolutely love what I do, and will continue starting companies for the rest of my life, my top priority is living a regret-free life where I do the best that I can to be a good son, husband, father, and world-citizen.
Where do you think Timeshifter's growth will be in the next 5 years?
Because circadian management is completely missing from the travel experience today, I am convinced that Timeshifter will sign up with numerous partners from across the industry. I predict “timeshifting” will become a natural part of the travel experience.
One advice you would give to your younger self.
To pay more attention in math class and never sell stock in startups before an exit.
Check out Timeshifter on their official webpage.
All photos courtesy of Mickey.
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