How to Shoot Stellar Slow-Motion Video on Your Phone

Slow motion has long been one of the coolest (and overused) effects in video. The technique was once exclusive to fancy, expensive cameras, but as portable device technology improves, slo-mo has become better and better. Whether you want to emphasize a cinematic moment or prolong the embarrassment of a friend you recorded in a compromising situation, slo-mo is a great tool that you should learn to wield. How It Works To get the most out of slow motion, it helps to understand the basics. Let’s start with the very concept of video itself. Video is just a series of still images (each one is a “frame”), displayed in quick enough succession that it gives the illusion of motion. Most video …

Small Sounds, Big Money: The Commercialization of ASMR

It was time to prepare my body for a peaceful, relaxing sleep. So said the voice, in a lilting British accent that barely registered above a whisper. “Notice how soft your pillow feels against your head,” the voice cooed, from my iPhone, in a way that reminded me of having my hair stroked. “You are ready to relax. Nothing is urgent. Everything can wait.” The voice came from Mindwell, a new meditation app. For $10 a month, it offers these and other hypnotic monologues, designed to promote peace in both sleep and wakefulness. The app joins a suite of others that reimagine meditation in the digital age: Calm offers relaxation techniques and mindfulness on demand; Headspace, with its guided breathing …

What Online Chess Taught One Teen About Digital Life

A few weeks ago, I was out to breakfast with a bunch of my guy friends and my boyfriend, crammed into a leather booth at Orphan Andy's, a diner a couple miles from where I live. We were off school that day, and one of my friends had a recurring dream about pancakes, so there we were. Per usual, I was vaguely annoyed by the omnipresent phone-checking of my friends, though this time it was accompanied by lighthearted banter of the “You dumbass, I'm going to beat you” sort, which oddly made me feel better. “What could possibly be so interesting?” I asked. This was met with a bombardment of mock disgust and the commandment to download Chess Time or …