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Phone stress checker aids mental health

Phone user
Work-related stress is one factor tracked by the fishy new software

If you ever feel like you live in a goldfish bowl then you're definitely not alone - at least, that's according to psychology researchers in Japan and their intriguing new mobile phone stress tester.

The FBI (Fish Bowl Index) software developed by Tokai University and office supplies company


takes answers to questions about the user's daily life and mashes the results into a graphic indicator featuring a cat and a couple of fish.

Avatar indicators

An onscreen display shows a goldfish bowl containing a red and a black fish, with a naughty-looking tabby dangling one paw into the water.

If the user tells the application they feel physically bad, then their avatar - the red fish - starts to show injuries, while reporting stress in relationships causes the black fish to act that out by appearing aggressive towards its bowl-mate.

Home pressures

If social stress is perceived as a problem, then the cat has a few swipes at the poor red fish, with the bowl itself liable to crack as stress at home increases.

While undoubtedly inventive (and very Japanese), the FBI application actually sounds more than a little stressful itself. After all, who wants to sit back and watch a moggy eat your online equivalent after a particularly bad day at work?