Jacques Mattheij

Technology, Coding and Business

Idea Dump, March 2011 Edition

It’s always fun to review these ideas a few weeks after I first had them, usually the majority looks bad on this second ‘review’ and they don’t make the cut.

Sometimes I feel pretty bad about that, especially if someone goes and makes one of the ones that didn’t make the cut into a killer :)

I’ve been asked a few times now why I do this, John Graham-Cummings started this whole thing with his 1000 bad ideas post, and I followed up with post of my own.

The other reason why I do this is because I firmly believe that ideas have no - or very little - intrinsic value, and I’d like to see some of these realized. There is only so much time in a day and I won’t be able to implement half of these even if I do live forever and I don’t expect that will be the case. So come and get them while the getting is good. If you have an ‘idea dump’ of your own (for instance, like this guy then let me know and I’ll link to it in the next edition.

  • (74) Phone Finder

    A small bluetooth device paired with your phone that you keep on your person. If the phone should lose contact with the bluetooth device it starts making noise and / or reports its GPS coordinates to a service. That way you can’t lose your phone ever again, and if it gets snatched or stolen the second the thief is outside of bluetooth range it’ll start yelling.

    Downsides: drains phone battery, this would need to be solved somehow.

  • (75) I’m cheap

    Point your phone at a barcode of an item you are about to purchase, enter the listed price and get a list of locations nearby where it is cheaper and how far away that is or a ‘green’ checkmark if you’re the cheapest instance.

    Contact info of supposedly cheaper stores provided to verify they have stock.

  • (76) Old News

    a news service that revisits the ‘hottest’ topics of 6 months earlier (headline news) and how it all ended. One of the most frustrating ‘features’ of the news agencies is their gnat like attention span, items that are huge frontline news completely drop from the rader in a few weeks time never to be heard from again, whereas obviously there must be some real-world follow up to the story that was broken with such clamor.

  • (77) Blogger By Request

    Bloggers claim that they find that their blogs are hard to ‘monetize’, well, here is a way in which you could improve on that. Blog about a subject suggested by a reader. And the reader can sweeten the pot by offering an incentive, the highest incentive, or the one that you find most interesting or a mix of those gets the nod and turns in to an article. The ‘incentive giver’ gets to say go/no go (to avoid really crummy articles) and if it is a ‘go’ the blogger gets their $ and the article goes live. If not the money goes to charity. That way you keep all parties honest.

  • (78) Conference Finder

    Conferences that attract a large number of people can be really hard to navigate, especially when looking for a person in a huge crowd.

    Enter CF, a smarthone app that uses a central server to get directions on where another party is currently on the grounds using GPS when outdoors.

    Indoors you’d both point it at some critical features and it would use the images, or wifi triangulation to out where the other party is in relation to ‘self’. After searching for a bit and getting a ‘fix’ the phone could then use its accelerometer for dead reckoning to a rendez-vous.

  • (79) ColorBlind

    A smartphone app that understands about our spectrum and the common labels we use for various colours, and allows you to ‘view’ the world through the screen of the phone with labels attached to all the coloured surfaces in the image.

    For extra points make it so that color coded objects (for instance, in electronics there is a resistor color code) show with their decoded value rather than color names.