Back in 2003 I attended the ITU World Telecommunications show in Geneva. The company I was working for was exhibiting at the event. One of its exciting new innovations was the “connected fridge” that told you what you were running low on when you went to the shops.
This was one very early representation of what IoT or Internet of Things might achieve “in the future”. Yet here we are 17 years later, and my while I can get a connected fridge, it’s hardly mainstream.
Things I don’t want
I’ve written before about my scepticism around self-driving cars and I think I am also happy to consign the connected fridge to the dustbin too. If it has not happened in the intervening years, it’s unlikely to be coming any time soon. But it got me thinking about technology I would like to see invented, not necessarily radical new innovation but incremental benefits.
Folders within folders
My phone is home to more than 200 apps and, despite this seeming ridiculous, I use most of them quite regularly. I also have a very organised filing system.
I can save multiple apps in one folder, but I cannot then save several similar apps in a sub folder. As an example, I have 47 apps saved under a travel folder, but I cannot save all the apps for different airlines within a sub folder. So please Android, can you fix that for me?
The reverse Uber
Something else I would like to see is a reverse version of Uber. Imagine the following scenario: you jump off a train and fancy a taxi home. Key in your destination and get local drivers to bid for the business. It essentially puts the passenger back in control of the cost. This is essentially what the insurance and energy aggregator sites do already for insurance so it’s natural to extend the model. This model could be applied to several different scenarios: imagine providing a shopping list to the supermarkets who can then bid for the business. Anyone delivering locally at the same time could benefit from delivering to two homes at once – saving fuel costs too.
I love the fact that on Amazon Prime and Netflix I can pick up where I left off regardless of the device I am watching on. But as someone who listens to loads of podcasts, why can’t the Bluetooth speaker in my home connect to my phone automatically when I get back and continue playing the content I’ve been listening to in the car? It’s simple and seamless. Perhaps it’s one to consider in place of the connected fridge?