How to Create an Immersive Outdoor Experience in Your Home with Nanoleaf Lights and the Portal App

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January 21, 2022 | 5 Min. Read | By: Justyne Y.
A side profile image of a person with a beard and long hair wearing Airpods with a planet behind him

More and more, people are finding themselves cooped up in their homes and disconnecting from nature which has proven to have a direct effect on our mental health. Here at Nanoleaf, we wanted to help find a solution as we know how important our mental health and physical well-being is, which is why we decided to partner with Portal—an app that brings all the benefits of nature to your home that promote your wellbeing, productivity, and sleep.

What is the Portal App?

The portal app on desktop and mobile

Our surroundings have a huge impact on how we think and feel, but the past two years of the pandemic have made it difficult to control where we spend our time. With Portal, you can create the feeling of the outdoors inside the comfort of your own home. The best part is that Portal – Immersive Escapes can be downloaded for FREE from the App Store (currently available for iOS devices). 

The founder of Portal Labs

Nick Daniels
The head of member success at portal labs

Stu Chan

We sat down to chat with Nick Daniels, Founder of Portal Labs, (left) and Stu Chan, Head of Member Success at Portal Labs, (right) to gain more insight into what the Portal App is, their inspiration and the story behind it:

Why was the Portal App created?

“The inspiration for Portal came about from a life-changing personal experience”, says Nick Daniels, Founder of Portal. “Back in 2017 I was in a really high-stress job with incredibly long hours and I’d essentially burned myself out to the point where I was diagnosed with depression. I realized I needed a change and a break, so when my wife and I got married later that year we were incredibly fortunate to be in the position to take some time off and we ended up traveling the world for 4 months for our honeymoon.”

Was there a certain moment that inspired Portal?

“Looking back I think the entire trip had a huge influence on Portal – we were so fortunate to experience some of the world’s greatest places first hand – the Buddhist temples and gardens of Kyoto, the sprawling chaos of Tokyo, the dawn light rising over Mount Fuji and the white sands and incredible beauty of the volcanic Pacific Islands. But it was our 6 week camping trip in the vast and awe-inspiring wilds of New Zealand that really altered my perspective and opened my eyes to the incredible effect and power of our surroundings”, says Nick. “On the flight back home, I had a simple thought: what if we could bottle up the essence of the world’s greatest locations and make them accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime…and in doing so help improve people’s daily lives…and that’s what Portal does.”

The portal app

What is the purpose of the Portal App?

“Portal’s pioneering a new approach to digital wellbeing by focusing on how our surroundings affect our health & wellbeing and how we can harness the power of immersive technologies, including dynamic head-tracked spatial audio, retina-quality motion visuals, and smart lighting, to virtually transform people’s surroundings, providing instant escapes to real locations around the world that are perfect for focus, sleep or relaxation”, says Stu Chan, Head of Member Success at Portal.

How would you describe the experience users have with Portal?

“Portal’s ultimate goal is to deliver natural ambience that is indistinguishable from real life, that makes you truly feel like you’re there in the midst of some of the most peaceful and awe-inspiring surroundings in the world. For us, it’s about delivering multi-sensory experiences that are so immersive and true-to-life they evoke the thoughts, feelings, and the sense of peace and calm you’d experience if you were actually there – on a tropical beach in Thailand or the foothills of the Himalayas – to help improve your sleep, focus, and overall mental wellbeing. Smart lighting plays an incredibly important role in delivering that immersive experience and transforming the environments we’re in – indeed, no one quite does ambient lighting like how Nanoleaf does it”, details Nick and Stu. “We’re big fans of Nanoleaf’s innovative design and use of cutting-edge technology, and so too are our customers!”

The portal app

How would you integrate the Portal App in your day-to-day activities/schedule?

“For a natural and energizing start to your day, Portal’s ambient alarm gently wakes you from your sleep by fading in relaxing natural ambient sounds combined with the gradually brightening glow of a virtual sunrise. You can also maintain your focus, concentration and productivity wherever you may be, whether that’s at home, on your commute, or in a busy coffee shop by replacing noise and distraction and transporting yourself to some of the most remote and peaceful corners of the world,” says Stu. “Portal’s simplified pomodoro timer can also help you focus, stay on task, and ensure you incorporate breaks within your day. And when you’re in need of inspiration, escape the confines of your four walls and immerse yourself in some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring places in the world and in the ambience of some of the most calming places on the planet to help you unwind and drift off.”

How Does Nanoleaf Work with the Portal App?

Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagons with the portal integration

With Nanoleaf, you can take your Portal experiences to the next level, and watch as your favorite places for escape are mirrored onto your lights! Not only will you get to experience amazing spatial audio and crisp videos, but you will also feel like you’ve been magically transported there with your Nanoleaf lights fully immersing you into the scene. Step into a relaxing camping retreat as your lights display warm red and orange hues synced up to a crackling campfire, or create your own personal “getaway” and watch as your lights splash with blue tones as you hear the sound of a calming waterfall around you. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your workspace to create a more focused environment, or you’re looking to escape to a place of calm,  the Portal x Nanoleaf integration can help to instantly transform your environment, providing moments of peace and calm. 

Nanoleaf Shapes Hexagons with a monitor that has Portal on the screen

How to set up Nanoleaf with Portal

To pair your Nanoleaf lights with your Portal App, just open the Portal App and select which Portal Premium membership you are interested in—this gives you unlimited access to their entire content library, Nanoleaf smart lighting integration and dynamic spatial audio support for USD$9.99/monthly, USD$49.99/annually or USD$249.99 for a lifetime purchase! As a special promo,  they’re also giving our Nanoleaf community 20% OFF their annual premium membership with this link. Once you have the membership, click the “Bulb’ icon in the lower left of the screen then press “Get Started.” Then select “Nanoleaf” and all you have to do is select which Nanoleaf device you want to connect to your Portal App and follow the instructions to enable your device!

Mobile app

So what are you waiting for? Get ready to escape into nature and download Portal – Immersive Escapes to experience the power of spatial audio with your Nanoleaf lights!

What’s your favorite Nanoleaf integration? Share your experience with us!

Find us on Instagram and Twitter @nanoleaf or Facebook @thenanoleaf  and learn more about Nanoleaf’s Smarter Kits and Nanoleaf Essentials.

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