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National Geographic Uses Google Assistant App to Help Veterans

National Geographic has launched a new Google Assistant app designed to help veterans through mediation and mindfulness exercises and provide access to mental health resources. Bravo Tango Brain Training is accessible through Google Assistant on mobile apps and through Google Home. It was developed with the help of former “Air Force psychologist and combat veteran Dr. Michael Valdovinos who specializes in military and veteran psychological health.” The media announcement summarized the app by saying:

“Bravo Tango recognizes over 40 moods, including anger, loneliness, anxiety, disappointment, regret, sadness, fatigue, fear and insomnia. Exercises range from breathing, and focus, to grounding and visualization, even interpersonal connection and muscle relaxation.”

 A Desire to Do More

The origin of the Google Assistant app started with the The Long Road Home mini-series, currently airing on National Geographic. The show relates in-depth accounts of several U.S. soldiers that were embroiled in battle in Iraq in 2004 that has become known as “Black Sunday.”  Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks commented:

We were so inspired by the real-life stories which The Long Road Home series was based on, and we wanted to expand our support with something tangible, useful and needed for the veteran community. As we began to explore the veteran support space with 360i, it became apparent that many of the current wellness app options for veterans do not address their specific needs.

National Geographic’s new Google Assistant app is also getting high profile endorsements. Martha Raddatz, author of The Long Road Home even participated in the promotional video for the app as did series actor Jon Beavors. More impressive was the endorsement from former U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

For many veterans, returning home is the toughest battle they face. Supporting their mental health requires an all-hands effort. I commend Bravo Tango for leveraging innovative technology to make practical and comforting wellness steps more accessible to our men and women in uniform.

Engaging 360i and XAPPmedia

To build the Google Assistant app, National Geographic worked with its agency partner 360i which engaged interactive voice technology specialist XAPPmedia to build the Google Assistant app and continue to manage it after launch. In a blog post, XAPP’s head of customer success, Andrew Gassen, commented:

We were very happy in the design process to conduct 18 interviews with veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — several of whom were involved in the subsequent testing. Their input greatly improved the user experience by ensuring its relevance for veterans. Voice technology is so convenient for users that there are many voice apps that are helpful. We like to think of Bravo Tango as the voice app that helps.

You can access Bravo Tango Brain Training through the Google Assistant app on Apple and Android smartphones or through Google Home. Simply say, “Okay Google, talk to Bravo Tango,” to get started.

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