SickWeather scans Twittersphere for people who are ill, creates map of areas to avoid

sickweather helps users avoid winter flu reading tweets app

Despite sniffling co-workers and commutes spent dodging sneezes on public transit, staying healthy is no easy feat, especially in the winter. A new iOS app called SickWeather wants to make your quest to avoid sickness this cold-and-flu season a little easier by plotting out areas where the sickies are, providing a real-time map of places to avoid. 

SickWeather trawls Facebook and Twitter for posts about illness, using an algorithm to sort relevant posts (“My flu is getting worse, I was up all night vomiting”) from the irrelevant (“R. Kelly makes me want to vomit.”) You can select the illness you’re most concerned with catching from a list of options, from pink eye to the whooping cough. Using a patent-pending search method, the app pulls up areas with reported illnesses, color-coding them according to how recently someone posted about being sick. The app also sends alerts to users who enter into an area with a known illness.

If you’re an Android user, you can still take advantage of SickWeather by heading to the website or using its Facebook app. Both ways of accessing SickWeather allow you to see which areas have reported instances of sickness, although it becomes impossible to avoid potential illness if you try to avoid the areas colored in orange that represent where “symptom activity” occurs – for the flu and allergies, Toronto appeared blanketed. If you zoom in far enough, the orange shading that shows the areas where these illnesses have been reported gets replaced by pins showing the individual reports. 

SickWeather probably isn’t the best app for people with hypochondriac tendencies, but if you want to know areas of your city to avoid (or places you should definitely apply hand sanitizer after visiting) it’s a helpful service, and it highlights how social media can serve as an important data source for health and safety tools. 


We get up close with the Vision iNext concept to learn about BMW’s future

Through a massive worldwide campaign that visits various major cities around the world, we get our exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with BMW’s latest Vision iNEXT Concept to learn about automaker’s future plans.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime Now: Here's exactly what it can do for you

Amazon Prime Now offers delivery of your purchased goods in just two hours. That means you get the convenience of online shopping coupled with the instant gratification of in-store purchases.

The flu is a bad souvenir. Here’s how a pilot stays healthy while flying

Why is it so common to get sick after a flight? A pilot explains the culprits and offers some tips to stay healthy when traveling by air, from nose spray to skipping the alcohol and doing aerobic exercises.

How you can become a hardwood legend in ‘NBA 2K19’ MyCareer mode

NBA 2K19 has arrived, which means it's time to once again create your player and work your way up to level 99 in MyCareer. Our guide will get you started on the right track to becoming a dominant player.
Social Media

How to Use Facebook: The unofficial user manual

With more than 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook has become the go-to social network. If you're new to the site, our comprehensive guide will lay out both the network's fundamentals and its more intricate functionality.
Social Media

Are Facebook, Instagram taking a Labor Day break? Users report downtime globally

Facebook, the world’s number one social media platform, and subsidiary Instagram are apparently taking some holiday breaks on Labor Day. As of this writing, Facebook and Instagram were facing more than 30 minutes of downtime.
Social Media

Instagram said to be prepping a stand-alone shopping app

Instagram is reportedly building a new stand-alone ecommerce app called "IG Shopping." If it launches, IG Shopping would allow 'grammers to browse and purchase a range of products, similar to how they can in the current app.

Vimeo thinks regular stock video stinks, launches alternative for creatives

When creators told Vimeo existing stock video options weren't enough, the video platform decided to launch its own. Vimeo Stock includes exclusive content, while creators are being promised a higher-than-average cut of the revenue.

Snap's Spectacles 2 can take stills and don't mind the rain

Snapchat has announced new styles for its Spectacles camera-equipped sunglasses. Spectacles 2 are able to take still images and are water-resistant. They're available to order now through Snap's website. 
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.

10 viral video celebrities from the past and where they are now

Ever wonder what happened to William Hung after his less-than-stellar American Idol audition? We take a look at 10 of the most popular viral video celebrities and see what they are up to today.
Social Media

As Twitter and Facebook growth slows, Pinterest hits 250 million users

Pinterest is now home to 250 million active users, despite a pattern of slowed growth and even reduced numbers among the latest reports from other networks. Pinterest also now boasts more than 175 billion pins.
Social Media

Facebook expands fact-checking net to try to catch doctored photos and videos

Facebook is now fact-checking images and video along with articles, using third-party organizations. New A.I. helps flag potential fakes for human review, but user flags and comments still help recognize what content might not be accurate.
Social Media

New to Snapchat? Follow our guide and go from newbie to pro

Whether you're a Snapchat addict or a newbie, our detailed Snapchat guide will help you become a pro in no time. Find out how to get started, spice up your snaps, chat, send money, and carry out a host of other useful actions.