An inbox for the native phone camera

Last week I took photos of 3 receipts, 5 screenshots, 4 drawings, 3 stores I want to find again, 6 whiteboards, 1 nice screensaver. Really useful if only they weren’t buried in blurry photos of beers and shiny statues.

I tried Deja Vu, Evernote and Everplaces, but the native camera wins every time for two reasons: It’s right there on the lock screen and taking the photo is the ONLY thing I have to do in the situation. Swipe, tap, done.

So what if we had an app that acts as an inbox for the native camera?

All those weird signs and cats seem to be coming in streams, so we could maybe select multiple at a time:

Whenever you drop a photo on a bucket, the app performs the action that belongs to it, and it could even allow developers to create their own actions.

An app that will let you skip the line at the post office

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.

An app that talks to robots on the phone

One of the most annoying things is talking to robots on the phone. It’s also one of those things you can’t just change.

What if there was an app that would let you go through a company’s robot menus on your phone – before you dial?

When you’re done the app dials the company’s number and presses the right menu options for you while you do something else. Like hang out at the water cooler. When it’s done it tells you so.

If you need to speak to an operator, the phone rings and you can pick it up.

But there’s one more step. Let your phone talk to the operator for you. Let the call center agent step through your interactive voice response robot.

There are a few companies on track to do something like this – Lucyphone has made a robot that calls toll-free numbers and connect them with you when the line is cleared. Gethuman knows all the shortcuts to get to human operators.