What is Phobys and what can it be used for?
Phobys is an augmented reality (AR) app to reduce fear of spiders by a training program with a realistic 3D AR spider model projected into the real world. This can help you to deal more calmly with real spider situations and to feel less fear.
Who is Phobys designed for?
Phobys is suitable for those who suffer from a mild, clinically insignificant fear of spiders and who are at least 16 years of age.
Development of Phobys
The Phobys AR app is a tool developed by the University of Basel and MindGuide to help people adjust to spider situations. The training uses a scientifically proven approach to reduce fear, known as exposure therapy.
A realistic 3D AR spider model is projected into the real world which creates a virtual simulation of a spider actually being present.
To test the effectiveness of the treatment in real-life situations, the University of Basel conducted a randomized, controlled study. Subjects either completed an at-home-training with Phobys (6 times for 30 minutes) or were assigned to a control group. Before and after treatment, the study participants approached a real spider in a sealed box as far as their fear allowed. The group that trained with Phobys exhibited less fear and disgust in the real-life spider situation and was able to go closer to the real spider as compared to the control group. These effects were statistically significant. For further information, visit our website: www.phobys.com.
How does Phobys work?
The AR app Phobys consists of 10 levels with different tasks of exposure and interaction with a realistic 3D AR spider model or interact with it. Task instructions are given via small text pop-up windows within the levels.
You can test your fear with the free version and then continue your training and face your fear with the full version by unlocking all 10 levels at once and for all times. The training starts really easy by just looking at a spider from the distance and then gradually increases in difficulty and intensity of the exposure. Start with the lowest level and work your way up, step by step. After each level, indicate whether you were able to complete the tasks and rate your fear and disgust. You will be asked to repeat the level if your fear and disgust ratings are still high or you were not able to complete the tasks. When your fear and disgust ratings are low, and you feel comfortable enough, move on to the next level.
Each level starts with a surface scan of e.g. a table or the floor with a distance of approx. 1 meter to the surface, followed by a tap on the display, which places the 3D AR spider model in the scanned area. In order to assure the AR is working well, use a flat surface with some structure and good light. Make sure there are no objects lying around, otherwise multiple surfaces will be detected. Avoid hasty movements and don’t cover the camera.
You can stop the training at any time by closing the app.
Who is responsible for the Phobys AR app, and who can I contact if necessary?
MindGuide, a Division of the University of Basel spin-off GeneGuide
Modification of Test Level:
Now we have Gentle Test and Scary Test for free.
Ratings and Reviews
Way too scary
They do NOT start gently. They do not ease you in. If you’ve got a severe fear, I don’t recommend this. 😅
Developer Response ,
We now also have a gentler test in our latest update! Phobys is designed for people with a high fear of spiders. When suffering from a severe phobia we recommend using the app together with a friend or to get professional assistance. Exposure is an effective treatment for spider phobia and the app Phobys uses this to train self-exposure.
Data Not Collected
The developer does not collect any data from this app.
Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More
- Nan WANG
- 701.7 MB
- Health & Fitness
- Requires iOS 11.0 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 11.0 or later.
- Requires macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip.
- Age Rating
- 17+ Unrestricted Web Access
- © MCN of the University of Basel, Switzerland and Mindguide
- In-App Purchases
- Phobys Full Version $4.99
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.