Saturday, July 27, 2013

“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Aristotle

I don't think Aristotle had Asian parents

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

- 10 ideas -

  1. Car Link In rush hour traffic, cars can link onto each other when both front and back cars agree. This can easily save hundreds of hours of doing nothing in traffic. Outside of rush hour, it will give ten seconds of warning before detaching again.
  2. Forecast Platform Platform to make predictions on any topic. Everyone's predictions are saved permanently and the most accurate forecasters are featured.
  3. Eye Tracking Input Use eye-tracking software to simulate both mouse and keyboard. Right-blink for click and left-blink to bring up keyboard. Use a Swype-like keyboard for faster keyboard entry. Useful for handicapped folks.
  4. Sundial Watch Watch that simulates a sundial. Has a portable lightsource attached.
  5. Mobile-Controlled Home doors, windows, lights and stairs can all be controlled from your mobile device
  6. Price Per Hour Fun Enter in activity or object and calculate the best bang for your buck. Parameters could be personalized.
  7. Vocalize Takes in a book and turns it into audio. Voice and pacing can be adjusted. For those that prefer to listen over read
  8. Lecture Attender Programmable voice recorder you can stick in lecture halls. Turns on and record remotely. Send voice data back to your computer. Speech-to-text software automatically transcribes into lecture notes. Never attend another lecture!
  9. Destination Randomizer Takes all reachable destinations on the map and gives you a random destination to travel to
  10. Activity Alert Set mobile alerts on whether your accounts have been accessed. Be notified where your Google accounts been opened and what actions have been taken in the last hour.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

- 10 ideas -

  1. Government Kickstarter The government lists a bunch of public projects - e.g. transit, roads - and crowdsources some of the funding
  2. Life Restart takes your career info and geolocates all your friends and acquaintances - suggests places where you could restart your life with minimal hassle
  3. Charitable Experiences fundraiser where you pay double the usual cost for something fun (e.g. horseback riding) and you take a less fortunate person with you
  4. Pressurized Toilets Rather than waste all that water for toilet flushing, have a pressurized system like on airplanes.
  5. Internet Diagnostics Devices that connects to your modem and router and alerts you via text message (SMS) if Internet is broken.
  6. Outdoor In Ceilings and walls that detect the weather outside and reflect it inside. Clouds that hover above you and rain dripping along the wall.
  7. Trick Explainer Take a video of a magic trick. App analyzes each component and explains how the trick is done.
  8. What will kill me here? Geolocates and analyzes crime stats, accident stats and mortality stats and tell you what to be careful of.
  9. What laws affect me? Type in what you want to do. After geolocation and crawling of local laws, the app will present you a list of rules you should be wary of
  10. Invisible Capture Measures and analyzes all the different invisible waves around you

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

- 10 ideas -

  1. Stave off Starvation Locates the nearest food bank, events with free food, shelter and so forth.
  2. Career Brancher Fill in your current skills and find similar careers. Good for people that are laid off or just need a change in scenery.
  3. Smile a Day User-submitted content that makes you smile. Detects what you found amusing and presents similar content in the future.
  4. Safely Home Charts out crimes in your vicinity. Gives you the safest walking route home, even if it's longer
  5. Google Expert If a person isn't able to find the answer they're looking for, they can request an expert. Google will parse the query and send it to relevant experts.
  6. Out-of-Office Social Media Need a break from blogs/Twitter/Facebook but don't want people worrying? This app will leave an "out-of-office" status on all your outlets and automatically respond to people asking when you'll be back
  7. Mass-Clone Creates many similar profiles of yourself on social media, attempts to friend your current friend-list and randomly generates random updates in order to prevent accurate profiling on yourself.
  8. Personality Mapper Enter in how someone acts/reacts and see what type of personality they are. Choose from Meyers-Briggs, DISC or some other personality test. Gives you a sense of how to work with a person
  9. Conflict Mediation Practice Virtual reality environment where you can simulate conflicts with zero repercussions. Practice your conflict mediation and problem solving in high-stress situations
  10. Limit breaker Put in all your trackable routines. It will graph your deadlifts, lap times, meditation durations and so on. It will show you your current limit and congratulate you whenever you surpass it to set a new limit.

Monday, July 15, 2013

- 10 ideas: after weekend edition -

Otherwise known as "come up with as many ideas as possible while half asleep". Time to get back on track.

  1. Notepad Keychain When my notepad got stuck onto my key ring, I thought it would be convenient to have a portable notepad (and utensil) I'd never lose. Hook a notepad and a small pen onto your key ring.
  2. Fuel Tank for Humans A suitcase containing daily nutrients that can hook into you intravenously. For those too busy to stop to eat.
  3. Airlift Express Stuck in traffic? Pay this helicopter company to airlift you to your destination.
  4. Meditation Bubble Sound-proof, air-permeable bubble with a lid. When you enter the bubble, you can change the bubble from opaque to transparent or vice versa. Meditation timer optional.
  5. U.N. Subsidized Relocation Give a generous relocation fee to businesses in developed country to move to less developed countries. The goal is to kickstart economies across the world and get closer to global parity.
  6. Real-Life Portal Turrets They do detect movement. They have laser sight. They speak out in creepy voices. The only thing they don't do is shoot live ammo, because that's probably illegal. Shoot water instead. Or catsup.
  7. Global Treasure Hunt a multinational company (e.g. Google) sets up a global treasure hunt as a marketing campaign. The first clue starts at their headquarters, and people have to solve subsequent clues to get to the next destination. Since flights are expensive, an online forum can be used to organize global treasure-hunting teams.
  8. Laser War Laser Quest with smarter armor detection system and more sophisticated weaponry. Light-rifles, light-machine guns, light-grenades. Armor that gives you a health bar. Damage dependant on where you got hit. Health bar regenerates at a slow rate. You're out when you hit 0% health.
  9. Humane Mouse Trap Ramps on all side lead to the cheese in the middle. Cheese gives way to the pit trap below. Pit trap is in the shape of a slippery vial so cannot crawl out. Release rodent outside, or flush down the toilet.
  10. Foldable Courts When practising tennis, batting or so on, you end up with a lot of balls on one side. If the side of the field could be lifted, you could send the balls back to yourself.
  11. News-Sensitive Globe A regular spinning globe that can detect trending topics around the world. Big news will create bright, large ripples whereas smaller news are literally just a blip.
  12. Charging Desk With wireless charging becoming more popular, lose all the power cords and let your desk wirelessly fill up your smartphone and laptop. Functional and stylish.

Friday, July 12, 2013

- 10 ideas: double edition -

Even though research shows that missing a single day doesn't hurt in forming a new habit, it still weighs on my mind. So new challenge today: twice the ideas in half the time.

  1. Biosphere Supermarket Create a micro-climate where you can grow non-native fruits and veggies, then sell these fresh produce at a marked up price. Fresh durian, please!
  2. Crowd-Sourced Investigators traditional newspaper is dying. The biggest value - in my eyes - is the investigative piece. Crowd-source an investigative piece. Investigators' names are hidden until the report is out; a successful investigation gives an investigator creds. Depending on how much funds a piece earns, you can demand an investigator(s) with a certain level of creds
  3. Disposal Tubes Tubes for trash, recycling and compost run through every house in a neighbourhood. Where gravity fails, a wind tunnel suctions the refuse into the treatment plant. Filters to prevent people or pets being sucked in. Saves truck fuel and garbage bags.
  4. Give Me This Now! Demand any purchasable item from anywhere in the world. Pay for transportation cost plus a courier fee. Transportation cost may be high if flights are involved, but guaranteed to take less than 24 hours.
  5. Dream Prompter Measures once you exited REM sleep and nudges you awake. Provides a tablet interface for you to write and draw everything you can remember.
  6. Hygiene 101 Not every parent teaches their kids hygienes. They should include best practices for hygiene in school.
  7. How [adjective] is this [noun]? Use Mechnical Turk to rate movies, shows and books on humour, sadness, steaminess, gruesomeness and so forth. Compile statistics and throw a pretty interface over it.
  8. How do I care for this? Take a snapshot of an animal or plant. Get the living needs of that animal or plant. Directions to the closest animal shelter also included if animal.
  9. Neighbourhood Help Along the lines of Neighbourhood Watch, you could label your house as a mechanic, chef or so on if you're willing to provide your services for passing neighbours. Good way to find out and meet the ones close to you.
  10. mStethoscope a stethoscope that plugs into your mobile device. Sound data goes into the mobile app and offers diagnostics.
  11. Packet Analyzer Wireshark can show you every packet going in and out, but there are so many packets and it's not easy for an average person to understand. Packet Analyzer will take that data, filter out noise and categorize the rest so you can see if there's any suspicious activity.
  12. @Me Crawls through Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all other social networks to find out any mention of you. Egotism in one neat package.
  13. One Password KeyPass stores all your passwords for you so you don't have to remember. Very secure, but not convenient. One Password hooks into the browser and logs you into any site when you enter your master password. This way, you can use random passwords for each site but only have to remember one. The solution to password reuse.
  14. Cloud VM One major issue I have with Chromebook is that I can't play League of Legends on there. That problem would be solved if the browser can run a Windows virtual machine. The gaming example is actually an edge-case to how amazing a browser-based virtual machine would be.
  15. Globalize Expands your company across the world. Well-connected and well-learnt about different policies. Knows the right people to bribe in other countries.
  16. Free Food Test Kit with the epidemic of fake foods in Mainland China, the government should hand out free food test kits and get citizens to report the sketchy vendors.
  17. Animal Identifier by sound, tracks or pictures. "By sound" would work like Shazam. Tracks and pictures could be done through Google's gigantic neural net.
  18. Speech Sharpener Perform a speech in front of your webcam. Get automated feedback on vocal variety, posture and so on. You can also review the video of your speech. Paid version will give you real feedback from professional speakers.
  19. Outfit Completer Post a piece of clothing and see what matches it. Can sort by price or style. Can also post just your measurements for suggestions on what to wear. Good for the fashionably handicapped like myself.
  20. Sky Alert Geolocates you and gives you a 24-hour advance alert if something awesome will happen in the night sky (e.g. meteorites, eclipses).

That took a little over an hour - phew!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

- 10 ideas: politics edition -

Besides education, I feel like politics is another big system that could use some fixing. I feel like the general Canadian should have more ability to see and influence what happens in the country.

  1. Proportional Representation Definitely not a new idea. In our current winner-take-all system, many people feel like their vote is wasted and end up doing things like strategic voting - voting for the lesser of two evils just to keep someone they dislike out.
  2. Glass Votes Every vote on every bylaw is recorded in a publicly accessible database. You could search and filter by subject, politician, year. You can be choose to be notified on upcoming votes that interest you, or interesting votes that has just happened, or how your councillor voted.
  3. Simple Law laws rephrased into a common and easy-to-understand way. If any accuracy is lost from translating from legalese, put in footnotes to explain further. Also add in real-life examples on how this law affects you. For instance, everyone can agree to "Stopping Online Piracy" - but at what cost?
  4. Say and Do crawls transcripts of speeches and debates to sum up a politician's public positions. Crawls through votes of various laws to sum up a politician's true positions. The difference between tatemae and honne. This could also be tracked on a party-level, but you would be more effective calling out specific persons.
  5. Vote Subreddit Automatic listing of all upcoming laws/bylaws, preferably translated through Simple Law (above). Local councillor contact info is autogenerated with geolocation. People can upvote the ones that interest them, and comment on what they think. Then with the contact info, they can immediately contact their councillor on what they think.
  6. Mandatory Debate During every election cycle, install mandatory debates moderated by an organization with the public's interest in mind (e.g. EFF). This way we can hear what they have to say on hard questions that matter.
  7. Who To Contact Enter an issue you have and this service will give you the contact info you need, along with a templated letter for your issue.
  8. Demand Answer Open a petition and get people to sign it. If 25% of the voting population has signed it, the government must give a non-trivial answer. The ombudsman can decide whether the petition has been sufficiently answered. Similar to what the States have right now, except they don't have the ability to refute the answer given.
  9. Money Trail Graphs how a politician made their money (in terms of jobs and donations) and how they're spending their money (in terms of laws and expenses). As a senior executive once told us, don't believe what people say - track how they're spending their money to really see what's important to them.
  10. Conflict-of-Interest Alert track what organizations a politician has been part of and what laws they pass. For instance, sound off the alert when an oil-friendly politician gets a job at an oil firm.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

- 10 ideas: education edition -

On the tracks of idea generation, Startup Weekend is a great place to hear and work on new ideas. For the first time since they started, Startup Weekend is limiting ideas - to education. On one hand, it's limiting the people who might've wanted to pitch. On the other hand, our education system is pretty broken as Ken Robinson eloquently explains.

So let's reinvent our education system

  1. Personal Paced Learning Rather than the traditional grade system, each subject is divided into difficulties and the teacher helps you through whichever difficulty level you are at. Teachers are assigned subjects (across all difficulties) rather than grades. You could be Level 3 English and Level 7 Math. Dividing by subjects makes much more sense as you can get tons of help from people in advanced levels.
  2. All-Year School Removal of the school year system completely. The current September system favours those born early in the year as they are stronger and smarter than their grade-mates. People can start school whenever they want - even after home schooling. A brief placement test for each subject would be needed. Because school is open year-round and there is no grade system, you could also take time off whenever.
  3. Online Texts Information is presented in a relevant and interactive way online. School would shift focus to answering questions and explaining concepts; working and playing in groups; and mentorship across difficulty levels.
  4. Clear Flexible Advancement If someone enjoys phys.ed. the most, they could spend most of their time exploring different sports available. If someone likes science experiments, they could see whether they prefer working with chemicals or dead living things. A small section of their day would still be allocated to necessary skills like basic arithmetics and logic, but the core focus would be what they're interested in.
  5. Performance-Based Rewards for Teachers Rather than being paid and promoted for being older, teachers would be paid through a mix of anonymized student reviews (measuring engagement) and students' progress (measuring effectiveness of teaching methods).
  6. Integrated School Systems Collapse pre-school, elementary school, high school and university into one. In order to keep costs under control, charge tuition for higher level courses. People accessing higher level courses would be serious about getting that knowledge and thus be willing to pay for it.
  7. Practical Exams Current test/exam system only checks how well students can write tests/exams. Exams should be an hour time-slot where the student performs an experiment, solves a real world problem using math they learnt, codes a useful application and so forth.
  8. Course-Job Hybrid At the highest levels of a subject, you are on a one-month paid internship to show that you can apply your skills in a work (or academic/governmental/non-profit) environment. You are given a small project - minor feature to code, web page to design, book to edit, financial sheet to balance - during that time. On successful internship, you are hired. If not, more learning and practice before the next internship.
  9. Mandatory Recess Three breaks throughout the day regardless of what level you are. Facilities from sports utilities to libraries for introverts are available to use. A chance for cross-subject mingling, especially for those that can't stay at school late.
  10. Teaching Certification through the System Teachers can teach a particular subject when they've reached the highest level of both teaching and their teaching subject. A teacher can have one or many teaching subjects. No additional certification would be needed, since work experience is included in the highest level.

Monday, July 08, 2013

- 10 ideas: zero power edition -

With my neighbourhood blacked out and my laptop battery non-existent, I dug out my Chromebook Pixel and tethered it to my mobile phone for emergency blogging measures. So now I have until the battery runs out to finish this blog post.

  1. Bioluminescent Lamps Mini aquarium bulb filled with biolumniescent algae. Just feed the algae for perpetual electricity-free lighting.
  2. Emergency Manual Pedaling trains, subways, streetcars can switch to manual power where everyone can start cycling to manually power the vehicle forward
  3. Handcrank MicroUSB power charger Use the handcrank generator originally designed for the One Laptop Per Child program, but instead have a MicroUSB connector so it could be used to power any mobile device (minus Apple products)
  4. Zero-Power Mouse Install a magnetometer on laptops. The mouse emits a magnetic field naturally. Clicking the mouse cuts the magnetic field. The magnetometer can then use this info to track mouse position and clicks.
  5. Zero-Power Streetlight Wrap streetlights with reflective tape; car headlights will make the streets glow. Will only work for highways and other vehicle-only roads, since pedestrians and bikers need light too.
  6. Meeting Places a waterproof sturdy plastic which details every unusual event and a corresponding meeting place (e.g. Zombie Apocalypse - Central Park; Fire - Backyard of my house). Permanent marker, cannot be erased. To make edits, you must draw up a new one.
  7. Deep Cellar Trapdoor in the basement can lower one crate deep into the earth for cooling. Prevent spoilage when no freezer is available.
  8. Backup Generator Exercise Bike An exercise bike hooked up to a backup generator. Every time you exercise, you are also lowering your electricity bill!
  9. Wind-up Fan Stores the kinetic energy of a hand-crank and then releases it to power a fan. Advantage over a regular fan: you don't have to hold it once it's wound up.
  10. Google Now/Siri/other-automated-assistant improvement automatically detects that you are in a blackout and suggests things like reading a book, playing a musical instrument or rolling out a board game

Sunday, July 07, 2013

- 10 ideas -

As a kid, I had these big ambitious goals. Stuff like taking over the world, cold fusion and getting a million hits on a website. None of those are my goals now - owning the world sounds like a lot of trouble and the laws of thermodynamics are too strong - but if I keep blogging everyday, I might be able to achieve that last one.

  1. Save HTML As Ability to save entire wiki pages, HTML reference manuals or a blog subsection as a Word Doc or PDF. Helpful for offline browsing.
  2. Rock-View Task List Visualize your task list as a jar where you place different rocks inside. You designate one big rock every day, and 1-3 big rocks for the entire week. Big rocks are related to your personal goals. The other tasks take up less visual space to emphasize focus on what's most important to you. A Zen To Done style task list.
  3. Advanced Analytics for E-Sports break down and track every play in a game. For instance in League of Legends, did the person initiating a fight result in a successful team fight? Essentially, Synergy Sports for the growing, lucrative E-sports market. Much less money than the NBA, but also much easier to track and analyze.
  4. Sushi Fest Dozen of omakase chefs gather together to create a wide variety of sushi and sashimi. Prizes, high entrance fees, incredible taste. Works better near fresh fish sources like the ocean.
  5. Real Voice System An audio recorder/transmitter you could put in your mouth (like braces) and a pair of clip-on audio receiver/speaker earrings. With this, you can hear how people hear you all the time. A cheaper, less fashionable method would be to stick two folders in front of your ears.
  6. Global Local Tours Select your city and travel dates, and see what local tour guides are available. Prices and potential landmarks are shown. AirBnB for tourism.
  7. Influence Mapper Log-in through Facebook and see a breakdown on what you get influenced by. Analyzes your Likes, location, school/work to show you how the government, company executives, friends and family affect your life.
  8. My Local Politician Shows a breakdown of your local politician's votes, activity outside the Parliament, spending and a comparison of other candidates in the same district.
  9. Gamify Your Life Along the style of /r/outside, maintain your characters stats, quests and guilds online. Enter real life numbers like income, bench press, run times, education level to generate your stats. Quests are goals you have in life and guilds are communities you're part of (e.g. work, friends, family, volunteer organization).
  10. Cybernetic Pet Assistant A robot pet toy that follows you around. You can ask it questions and it will answer you. For example, you're wondering when you should head out to dinner so you ask your mechanical feline friend. She processes the question via Siri/Google Now/S-Voice and informs you that you should leave in ten minutes, and automatically puts your phone in navigation mode. Useful? Not really. But really freaken cool and doubles as a toy.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

- 10 ideas -

I completely forgot my Blogger is hooked up to Twitter. I wonder why no one told me about this; I only found out when I was looking up Twitter features.

One cool side effect of writing this series is that I get to skim through what's out there right now. I had to ditch ideas that are already in place (or at least tweak them). For instance, did you know there are swimming treadmills?

  1. Negotiation Blackbox Machine takes in available data on negotiators as well as what they're willing to give and get. Optimizes a win-win outcome or the best possible compromise
  2. Cyber Security 101 Teach kids basic online security. It's no longer good enough to tell them not to use their real names - Facebook has killed that model anyway. Differentiating between domain names and subdomain names; viewing file extensions; the permanence of anything you put online.
  3. Keep Connected Put in a list of your friends and tag them as "close", "acquaintance" or "new". The app will remind you to reach out to these friends based on the tag. Number of "close" friends to 230.
  4. Artifical Life Coach Feed this app info about yourself and let it plug into your online data. The coach will ask you relevant questions and give you advice based on its reference book. If you're in the listening mood, it can also talk about "itself" by pulling in stories other people told it.
  5. 3D Printed Movie Sets Print out movie set props. Especially useful if the scene involves plenty of destruction. Recyclable printed materials mean you can re-shoot that destruction scene as often as you like; as long as it's not Michael Bay level explosions. Might even be cheaper than special effects for indie films.
  6. Friendly Lumen Meter A device that measures how bright it is. Rather than listing vague numbers like all the lumen meters out there, this one looks like a thermometer and has activities (e.g. reading, watching a movie) instead of numbers. Combined with an adjustable light, you can prevent eyestrain.
  7. Socially-Aware Sound System Detects everyone in the room and their music preferences. Spins up an optimized playlist that will please most people most of the time. A cool side idea: everyone gets their own entrance music, like in television shows or Blue Jays games.
  8. What's Happening Here (or There) Show a map of the world and trending Twitter topics worldwide. You could zoom in, zoom out, circle a zone and trending topics will narrow to the location you want. If possible, crawl Facebook as well for a larger data set.
  9. One Social Media integrate Google+, Facebook and Twitter together. Search bar searches through all three platforms and returns results from each. Post to one or more feed. Newsfeed contains all streams. There are a few efforts in place but not well-made (e.g. G++)
  10. Who is This Enter a name and it will combine all publicly available online information about your target: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, any published articles, any news article mentions, etc. Useful for interview prep, looking up people at an event on the fly, and so on.

- 10 ideas -

  1. Untranslatable Words Words that have no equivalent in English or vice versa. Crowd sourced the word source and the rating. This site comes close but I have no idea what's interesting and what isn't. For instance, lack of nunchi can cause you to perform an arigata-meiwaku. Similarly, we've all met someone who has a backpfeifengesicht.
  2. Emergency First-Aid Course In addition to basic CPR, they should teach emergency first-aid as part of physical education in high school. In fact, you would more likely treat a nosebleed or a broken bone than resuscitate someone without a pulse.
  3. 3D Mobile Accessory Shop Standard-sized 3D printer that sells phone and tablet covers at a cheap price. There are many stores out there that focus on only selling accessories and they all rip you off.
  4. 3D Kitchenware Shop Sell bowls, forks, knives, spoons, etc in bulk. Perfect for parties where you need tons of disposable cutlery. Customers can recover a portion of their cost if they return the materials cleansed, since 3D printed materials can be reused
  5. Neverending Story The icebreaker game where you start off with one sentence and the next person has to add another. However, this one is played one a world scale, so it will (theoretically) never end. It would be interesting to see what type of story would get spun out of this.
  6. Interesting Fact Generator Give the generator a thing or a person, and it will tell you interesting facts about it. Similar to trivia sections in Wikipedia before they became disallowed
  7. Social mind map invite a group of people on this online whiteboard. Someone starts with a term and everyone can brainstorm related terms. Terms will auto-suggest related terms based on other people's mind maps
  8. Modular Furniture You can lengthen or shorten a desk depending on the amount of space. Change a single bed to a double by snapping an extension in place. Slide in additional drawers.
  9. NFC Laptops Laptops with built-in NFC chips. Tap your phone to your laptop to sign into your session. Share files wirelessly through Android Beam/Bump.
  10. How to Rebuild Civilization 101 By the end of this hands-on course, you will know how to rebuild civilization from scratch if there was ever an apocalypse.

My ideas are often far removed from the real world, where they have constraints. How much money does it take to make? How long will I need to bring this to life? And most importantly, who will I need and who will I need to work around?

Thursday, July 04, 2013

- 10 ideas -

  1. Emotion Brace A bracelet or ring that reacts to quickly rising pulse or body temperature by turning cool. A good way to prevent yourself from saying something in anger, something you'd regret
  2. Detachable Hard-drives Desktops that can hot-swap out a hard-drive with another. Technically doable today, but with a lot of trouble. If this could be made as easy as plugging/unplugging a USB drive, it would solve large file transfer issues. People don't always have external hard drives on hand.
  3. Crowd-Sourced Trading Card Game Set up basic rules. People are able to submit their own card arts and card descriptions. The most upvoted ones get their own card and a small prize.
  4. Goal Breakdowner Put in a major goal you have and receive the tangible actions that will bring you closer to it. Crowdsourced solution will likely succeed since many people have the same major goals.
  5. Destination Comparison Put in your vacation dates. Receive a comparison of the most interesting destinations during that time. You could compare worldwide, within a country or even within a city - draw your own boundaries. Compared by timeliness (e.g. festival only on that date) and price (e.g. flight, stay in the area). Great way to get the best bang for your limited vacation time.
  6. Hype this Thing Don't like reading books? Not looking forward to this movie? Go to this site and get hyped with the most over-the-top sales pitches. A crazy cross of Cracked and Three Wolf Moon. Bonus: is available!
  7. Human Puppeteering A room where two people get wired up. The puppet moves exactly like how the puppeteer moves. Practical usages: correcting someone's swing, someone's punch, someone's running stance and so on.
  8. Stop-Motion Camera Camera specialized for stop-motion. View your current roll of film as a video. Delete and insert frames where needed. Upload as a set of photos or as a video.
  9. Edible Staples Stuff a chicken and staple it shut with edible staples. Fill a bell pepper and staple the two halves together. Randomly staple your food 'cause stapling is fun.
  10. Ariadne's Thread a big ball of waterproof, glow-in-the-dark string you can carry to explore a forest. Unroll the string and be able to track your way back.

For the first time since I started this, I felt my inspiration run dry. I kept thinking that I was all out of ideas and that it wouldn't be so bad to skip a day. Then I said screw it and kept going. Moral of the story? Music puts you in the zone.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

- 10 ideas -

  1. Voice Synthesizer Record yourself speaking out all the phonemes of your language (which aren't many); the app will now speak any phrase in your voice
  2. Eternal Expo Have a building with bookable booths that present demos and proofs-of-concepts year-round. Bring together innovators and investors
  3. Garage Houses With living space decreasing and living expenses increasing, people may start living in cars like this guy. Rent out shelters for cars so roaming people can feel safe for the night.
  4. Power Line Outlets Put power outlets for regular, USB and micro-USB chargers at each power pole. To prevent abuse, charge 25¢ for every hour of charging. After money runs out, power to outlet shuts off.
  5. Automated Litter Eaters Robot that has the map of a park or beach pre-programmed. Senses litter and automatically vacuums it in. Especially useful for dangerous litter like glass.
  6. Smart Fridge compartments for different foods. Automatically detects when you inserted a new item. Alerts you when an item is running low or has risk of spoilage
  7. Smart Microwave image sensor and learning algorithm to detect what you put in. Automatically starts microwaving when you close the door. Microwaves till perfection. Also senses how hot the microwavee is and automatically shuts down if there's a risk of burning.
  8. Capsule Bed Soundproof, breatheable glass slides over your bed. Play soft nature sounds of your choice, since some people may have a harder time sleeping in pure silence
  9. God Glass Google Glass/augmented-reality-headgear app where you speak a noun and you will see that object appear in your sight. Optionally take a photos and videos with that object in place. Essentially combines voice recognition plus Scribblenauts
  10. Book Shelf Optimizer Take a picture of all your books. The app will show you how to arrange all your books by optimizing shelf space.

It takes an average of 66 days to form a habit. Hopefully by the end of August, this process will become automatic and I'll be able to start a new habit.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

- 10 ideas -

  1. Energy Level Meter Start by recording how energetic you are (ten point scale) and related events every hour. The app slowly learns your energy level patterns. Nudges you to take a break when you're likely to be tired; urges you to work on an important, demanding task when you're likely to be charged up.
  2. Augmented Reality Tours Put on augmented reality headgear and streetview through the Grand Canyon or the Antarctic. Audio guide activates on reaching certain destinations. Next best alternative to travelling to the place itself. Useful if you want to go, but can't. Or if you want to do in-depth planning for a future trip.
  3. What is this thing? Reverse image search using a large database of images. If unable to retrieve a result, optionally add categories (e.g. "animal", "cloud") to get a better result.
  4. How to make this meal Select a meal. The app will breakdown the exact next action you need to make that meal. For instance, geolocates the nearest grocery store and tells you which (and how much of) ingredients to buy. How to peel and cut the onion. Keeps a cooking timer for you.
  5. Soundproof Pod Set up a transparent bubble around your workstation that's completely soundproof. People will know not to disturb you
  6. Online Code Tutor stackoverflow (or another programming site) should offer experience programmers as tutors. They can view your desktop, watch you code, offer suggestions and help with stumbling blocks
  7. Manipulation Prevention 101 A one-week course that teaches logic and basic social psych in high school. Help people recognize fallacies by showing their general structure and common, relatable examples. We have one-week physical self-defense classes; why shouldn't we be taught to defend against the more common, mental attacks?
  8. Online Identity Shredder An open source tool where you input all your accounts and it automatically deletes every associated file in those accounts as permanently as possible. Then it closes the accounts for you.
  9. Augmented Reality Dashboard Car dashboard has an augmented reality overlay which highlights the roads you need to travel on and alerts you if anything is wrong (e.g. not even gas to make the trip).
  10. Phone Jammer Device that blocks radio and wi-fi signals. Good for dinners and parties to prevent people from going off into their own little mobile-enabled world

Ideation - coming up with new ideas - is the easiest and funnest part. Execution is much more difficult. I have a lot of respect for people who are able to constantly build things.

Monday, July 01, 2013

- 10 ideas -

  1. Google Doc Sync Right-click a folder or file on your desktop to enable two-way sync to Google Docs
  2. Electronic Signature With touchscreens becoming more mainstream, have a new HTML element called Signature Box where you can scribble in your signature
  3. Auto Sports Analyzer Seed an application every basic and advanced strategy in the book. Input game footage. Compare player and ball movement to the strategies. Output a complete analysis of what a team did right or wrong.
  4. Online Grade School Anyone can submit lessons on any subject. Crowdsourced upvoting system. Monetization for both teachers and the platform through matched one-on-one tutoring. A brief plug for MIT OpenCourseWare, Coursera and Khan Academy for the best online education platforms so far. We're still missing a truly open, crowdsourced platform though.
  5. Random Character Generator Auto-generate a name, traits and backstory. The key here would be to get each ingredient to match the other. Relevancy could be determined by crowdsourcing or learning algorithms.
  6. Self Awareness List situations you would normally encounter. Predict how you would react. Score yourself after every day and aim to improve that score. Also doubles as mindfulness training
  7. Trend Spotter crawls through social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Reddit) to find what is spiking up in terms of mentions
  8. Lyric Lookup Sing some lyrics of that song stuck in your head and automatically get the song name. Should be as easy as voice-to-text connected to parsed Google results
  9. Monitor Your House Sensors on every door and window. Mobile app displays which are opened and closed. You can be alerted if a door is opened.
  10. Tap to Print Stations Insert coin into printing station. Tap your mobile device. Prints document.

Whenever I tell my friends I'm posting ten ideas a day, they tell me ten a day seems a bit much. To be honest, the one most surprised might be myself - I thought I would've run out of ideas by now.

Reminds me of a conversation I had with my grade school Gifted teacher: she told me how universities have theses as their graduating requirements, and how each theses had to be different than any other. Boggled by the sheer number of unique theses there must've been (all the universities of the world and the army of grads from each one), I asked what if the ideas run out. She said the schools are founded with the assumption that they won't run out.

If somewhere out there, a 100-page theses on a new idea is being written every second, I can surely come up with ten quick new ideas.