iZombie? A zombie self-diagnosis and self-destruction app

As Halloween approaches, and the veil between worlds grows wan, threadbare, and permeable, Cooper turns its collective attention to the spirit, spook, and creature population. Last year we sought to understand them from a Goal-Directed perspective. This year we take the next unholy step and design software, devices, and services around these personas. Today we revisit Emily.

Emily is in trouble. She narrowly escaped a horde of flesh eating zombies, but was bitten in the process. Now she’s suffering under the gradual onset of zombification—cognitive decline, neurodegeneration, loss of motor control, and an increased apetite for delicious, raw, human flesh. She wants to stave off zombiism as long as she can, but she knows that once she’s crossed a threshold, she will succumb and attempt to kill her friends and eat her family. What can she do? Enter iZombie?, an app made specifically for zombie-virus-infected humans, distributed by the military for free to all civilians at the first sign of the inevitable plague.


  1. CDC notification system. As progress at the CDC continues, iZombie? feeds Emily information about its development of the zombie cure, as well as tips and tricks towards managing the onset of the illness.
  2. Self-diagnostics. Every six hours, iZombie? prompts Emily to run a zombification test using the phone’s camera. The app measures the redness in Emily’s eyes, and issues a quick hand-to-eye coordination test. A score tells her how long she has before the zombie virus has taken complete control of her brain. Biometric identification ensures that uninfected people can’t accidentally pick up the phone and perform the test for her. She’s given warnings, but if she doesn’t take the test, iZombie? reports her picture and whereabouts to the local authorities.
  3. Warning to friends and family. If Emily fails her iZombie? tests, a warning is sent out to nearby friends and family via SMS and video messaging, urging them to stay away from her. This way, they won’t have to kill her in self-defense, which avoids unnecessary trauma.
  4. Self-destruction dongle. iZombie? comes with a handy dongle containing precision-blast plastic C-4 explosives that detonate when Emily fails the test, destroying her brain with a carefully targeted micro-explosion. iZombie? emits a loud warning and countdown before exploding, giving nearby humans clear warning of the change, enough time to get out of the way, and Emily a few loud seconds to make her peace with the world.

iZombie? - A self-diagnosis/self-destruction app

iZombie? can accurately measure the progression of zombie infection, giving the infected human time to warn loved ones and prepare for the inevitable.

Designer’s Notes

Zombie scientists Golden and Andreas let us know: Why is this awesome for Emily?

  • The CDC updates give her reassurance and hope for a cure, and a reason to press on.
  • She no longer has to pass as uninfected, because she’ll have confidence in her status while she’s human, and not be around very long once she’s…changed. She can even share her current status of 53% to gain access to temporary strongholds and safehouses.
  • By killing her on a failed test, we reduce the risk to her family and the rest of the still-human population.

Keep an eye on this space as more spooooooky design rolls off the Cooper press.

The Editors

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