Last October, Endel announced that it had partnered with Grimes for a special ‘soundscape’ inside its music app, which is meant to help you focus, relax or fall asleep. The collaboration was called AI Lullaby and, as you might have guessed from the name, combined artificial intelligence with Grimes’ original music and vocals. There was just one problem: it was only available on iOS. The slumber sounds have now disappeared for iPhone users and, as promised, hopped over to Endel’s Android application. If you own a phone or tablet powered by Google’s operating system, it should be accessible the next time you open the app.
So what makes Endel special? And why can’t these soundscapes work on a platform like YouTube? Well, Endel is all about personalisation. It takes a bunch of factors into account, such as the time of day and your body’s circadian rhythms. If you’re feeling generous, you can also give the app more data, such as your location — which covers weather and quantity of sunlight outside — heart rate and general motion. Endel then uses this information to generate and play music that uses pure intonation and pentatonic scales, which are easy for the brain to absorb. The company also uses some ‘sound masking’ techniques to bury any harsh elements.
Grimes, meanwhile, partnered with Endel after searching for “a better baby sleeping situation for her son, X Æ A-XII Musk. “When you have a baby, you’re always using white noise machines,” Grimes told The New York Times. “It’s much easier to get them to sleep if you train them on some kind of audio situation. And so I was just like, could this be more artistic?”