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After months of development by a truly international team including famous Israeli 3D artist Eyal Gever, NASA’s Made in Space division, and Cape Town start-up Gravity Ideas – the #LAUGH app is ready for download!

 

We spoke to the local Behavioural Change Agency to find out a little more.

As Gravity Co-founder David Perrott describes, “NASA recently (space)shipped the first zero- gravity 3D printer to the International Space Station. Although its main function is to help astronauts build tools and spare parts in case of emergencies, NASA’s Made in Space team seized the opportunity to do something pretty special.”

They collaborated with world-renowned 3D artist Eyal Gever to create the world’s first piece of interplanetary art!

“Gever’s incredible idea was to create an easy-to-use app that collects and collates people’s laughter from around the world in the form of soundscapes.” The app then relies on users liking, playing and sharing it to select “the world’s best laugh”. “The winning laugh will be sent to the International Space Station, 3D printed and sent out into space as a celebration of our common humanity”, Perrott says.

Why laughter you might ask?

Well, as Gravity describes, “All too often today, when we think about ourselves and others, we define ourselves by difference. We focus on what makes us unique – what makes me, ‘me’ – and we tend to understand others in relation to that. In a world defined by difference – different points of view, different histories, different languages, and different lived experiences – it’s hard to think of there being anything that is truly universal”.

But, there is, and it’s laughter!

“Laughter is one of the few forms of social communication that behavioural scientists and anthropologists have consistently found across cultures. From ‘untouched’ tribes native to South America, to the most modern societies in Western Europe; laughter truly is a global good”

While the things that make us laugh might be somewhat culturally specific, as Robert Provine and other experts on the Psychology of Laughter note, laughter is essentially a language of its own, shared across cultures, across the earth.

There is a good reason for this universality too. As Neuroscientist Sophie Scott explains, “You’re doing something, when you laugh with people, that’s actually letting you access a really ancient evolutionary system that mammals have evolved to make and maintain social bonds, and clearly to regulate emotions, to make ourselves feel better.”

Gravity Ideas was lucky enough to be part of this international collaboration assisting with the research, testing and iterative development of the app.

They describe it as “a pure delight working on such a novel and out-of-the-box project with such a distinguished team scattered across the globe, from South Africa to the USA, Israel to the UK. It has been a truly global project, not just in terms of the outcome the Platoon team wanted to achieve, but also in the way that they have achieved it.”

Download the #LAUGH app today, and stand a chance to send your laughter into space!


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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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