Project Ideas That I’ll never do

Posted by: Alex on April 16, 2015

Over the last few years I’ve accumulated a fair few project ideas that I either don’t have time for or don’t think they’re quite worthwhile doing. However, at some point I actually thought of it – so I feel I may as well list them online just incase anyone feels like working on a little project or think they could make it work.

So below are some of my ideas, feel free to steal them – do with them as you wish, I claim no intellectual rights etc. However please just give me a tweet (@guwii) to let me know if you start it or even complete it, as most of them are ideas that I’ve thought at some point would actually be useful to myself/society etc, and I would like to give some input :).

App store demographic analyser/suggestion site

State your demographic (job role/age etc) and list the apps you use, and in return you get suggestions of all the apps most other people like you are using.
Why: I’ve often wondered what apps I’m possibly missing out on that other people use. A site where I could state I’m a “23 year old Web dev”, and in return I see “Okay, Alex, we see most other people who are web dev’s use these apps:…”

The universal doorbell

Doorbells just seem old fashion nowadays to me for some reason.
The idea: Every single person ideally would need to on board (Sounds impossible already I know..). Via your smartphone when you get near your destination (possibly using NFC[Near Field Communication]) that you plan on ringing the bell of, you can tap it in the app, and it would then ring within that household/building and the resident can see on their system who has rung it (and either choose to ignore you, or open the door).
Why this would be good (although I’m aware of the many, many negatives):

  • Deliveries and efficiency – so much time is wasted by delivery companies in the time spent between ringing the doorbell and someone actually opening, with this universal app/bell system they could ring the bell before even getting to your door (Again, using some kind of NFC/ring-fencing as to prevent abuse) and hopefully by time they actually arrive to the doorstep the resident will be closer to opening the door.
  • The elderly / worried – To many of the elderly, opening the door can be quite nerve-wracking, not knowing who will be on the other side. This kind of system would prevent this worry as the ID/profile of the person ringing would appear.

Online Passport for Preferences

The thinking behind this project is to have a set “passport” style of cookie on your browser, that every website can read from to get your preferences. Some quick examples of the kind of data (obviously non-personal):

  • Preferred font size (some people like it like a book, others prefer it like (large font)
  • Acceptance of tracking cookies
  • Cleaner reading experience (Think of the iPhone safari button that just shows a text view of page)
  • With this kind of things in mind, a website can then tailor itself to your personal viewing and browsing preferences.

    Guess who style database for celebrities

    How many times have you had the image/face of an actor/celebrity etc in your head, but can’t even remember what film they were in etc?
    The premise of this website would be simple, collect the generic details about as many celebrities/famous people as possible and make them searchable by key facts.
    Eg: I’m thinking of an _actor_ that wears _glasses_ has a _beard_ and is roughly age _18-30_ and from the _UK_. The _items_ should be the searchable factors and include as used should include as many as possible – This would then query the database and return all results that matched. (If you’ve ever played the board game “Guess Who” before it should sound familiar).

    Tinder, but for much more

    Hopefully you’ve already heard of Tinder, very basic “dating” app that allows 2 people to match based on both just simply saying “yes” to each other. I think this kind of simplicity, and barrier breaking is a great concept for even more. My ideas and case study uses would be:

    • Travel companion: Many people love to go travelling/backpacking, however going alone is daunting. The basic idea would be you subscribe to that “Travelling” category, and maybe choose a destination, like minded people then begin to show and you simply swipe left or right depending on whether you think you’d get along with them.
    • Housemate finder: This would be especially useful for students, but could work in general. Many people are looking to flat share, however finding compatible flatmates isn’t easy sometimes. Again, very basic criteria would need to be added, such as “flat” in “London”. And you then begin swiping left or right based on other people who’ve chosen similar criteria.
    • I think there’s many, many more use applications that can utilise this kind of very simple ice-breaking introductions, that can help you weed out situations to leave yourself with just “matches” that at least meet a basic criteria”.

    Control site through SMS

    It’s quite simple nowadays to hook a website up to the real world, one simple way is text messages etc. However so far it only seems sites use outbound text messages as alerts. An inbound API/control would be quite cool. Eg: Text “log out” to a phone number you allocate and it would cause the website to log you out. Obviously the uses could be endless for the type of control, Eg: messages such as “Print”, “Update”, “Go to x profile”. Twilio is already a great API that enables text/API control, however there’s no real library (that I’ve seen) for utilising Twilio to control websites.

    Help the community social network

    For localised real world communities – This idea is a bit more hippyish and relying on the free will of locals, but I think it has a small chance in friendly villages/communities etc – a website you can list jobs that need doing in your local community, Eg: “wall has fallen over by the river”, or “x road is icy and needs clearing”. It would have to be some kind of achievement/gamificaiton system to reward (in a non monetisation fashion) the people who do good deeds (possibly some kind of input from local councils).

    Completely hover website (No clicks)

    If you’ve ever used xbox Kinect you should be familiar with this style of navigation. The idea being you simply hover your hand over an item for x period of time to show intent. For website this would use the cursor as a gesture. Eg: A menu on a website, instead of clicking, you just hover for 3 seconds and it would then take you to that link.

    Compare Game Editions

    Console games nowadays are often released with many versions (Eg: collectors edition, special edition, as well as store specific perks). A site that neatly lists them out in a structured table format showing the price differences, and included benefits/items would be cool.

    Temperature sensing coffee coaster

    A simple/sleek (preferably aluminium/apple-esque style) coaster that has a built in temperature gauge and weight sensor. It should sense the bottom of your mug of coffee/tea and should alert you when you’ve potentially forgotten to drink your beverage, as it has dropped several degrees without being lifted.