If someone made a top 100 of the most boring things in life, and you somehow acquired that list and were looking at the top 3, you would probably find standing in line there.
Sure, the post office, bank, H&M can hire more people, get a more intelligent ticket system, but chances are they won’t. So maybe we could make it more fun from the outside. And since it’s 2012 we need an app.
1. Size up the queue
If there’s a ticketing system, it’s as easy as subtracting the number you just got, from the number on the Now Serving display. If it’s a classic line of people, the app has a pedometer-like function that measures the queue length as you walk along the line of people. Or you simply count heads.
2. Measure the queue’s speed
If other users have been at this queue recently this step can be skipped. If not, the user gets a button they tap every time the clerk shouts “next!” Remember, you’re bored to the extreme and your legs hurt. This will feel like the best fun you’ve had in ages.
3. Stop boredom
The app now knows where you have to be, and when. For ticket queues, it has a map that constantly shows you how far you can go and still make it back in time. It shows you cafes and shops within this reach. For classic queues, it makes playlists with videos that fit exactly your wait time. It checks you in on Foursquare. But we both know that’s not what you really want.
4. Skip the line
The app knows who else is waiting in this line and how long they have left. Let’s say you’re in a hurry and Jim is not. You find Jim and get his position in the queue. In return Jim gets a credit that he can use when he finds himself in a line that’s too long for his schedule.