Ideas that I think can change the world
These are projects/ideas that I’ve worked through in some form or another, but have not yet completed. Publishing here with the momentary feeling of inspiration, and community — with the hope that perhaps it can inspire other creative thinking, or for people to collab or compete on seeing these ideas come to fruition.
In no particular order.
- Apple Watch should detect when Trichotillomania sufferers are pulling out their hair, and interrupt their pattern — if only, to bring awareness to it, or even statistics of how many hairs were pulled. The act of hair pulling for people is rather monotonous — the motions differ for different people, but there is no doubt that machine learning should be able to figure out the noise from the cruft, and for those who pull single hairs, should even be able to give you how many hairs were pulled that day, and at what time each hair was pulled. Correlate this data with other therapies, it could change the lives of many sufferers, including myself. No particular business model here, as it would need to happen via Apple, as I don’t think 3rd party watch apps can achieve background motion tracking and notifications. However, I guess one could create the machine learning models, then sell that data to Apple.
- Internal state tracking via quick entry on the Apple Watch, and correlation with the external world, to provide suggestions on how you personally can live better with insights of what worked for you before, and others like you. It turns out that a combination of mood level, with energy level, maps fairly accurately to emotion — not perfect, but good enough to be accurate. This means that an Apple Watch app could be made, where you open it up, a few seconds to swipe the digital crown to your mood level, then a second to swipe right to enter your energy level, a few seconds to use the digital crown to enter that, then optionally, (1) you can specify what action you are doing — optional, as I already use TimeTrack.io for actions, and (2) you can specify who you are with, as that doesn’t seem that insight is automated yet. Things like activity, location, etc are automated. The purpose here is to correlate internal markers to external reality, so that you can find out how external outputs or inputs affect your internal world. Feeling down? We’ve found that for you, going for a run will normalise your mood within 2 hours, whereas watching TV will take several days for your mood to normalise — however, going for runs in the morning reduces your risk of feeling down through the day by 50%—and that when you feel down, there is a high likelyhood unless resolved today, it will trickle into worse feelings tomorrow. All these suggestions are possible via a simple tracker of mood + energy + action. The business model here would be to give it to free to individuals, but for them to share data securely with their therapist, the therapist would pay $500/month for that access per client. The offering of client mood and energy data through the day, would be invaluable for treatment, especially ones like Cogntive Behavioural Therapy, and be a competitive advantage for the therapist.
- An app that will connect people via audio or video call, based on the activity they are doing. Naturally introverts are repulsed by this idea, but extroverts dig it. The idea here is in anticipation with Moore’s law and how it affects the cultures of each new age into it. This is not one for the world as it is today, but one for the world it is tomorrow. Think of it like this. Everyone has internet on their phone — yet to meet people, and to maintain their social circle, it is more or less geographically constrained, and limited to the people who show up, and ties to the same people. None of these constraints will be there in the world of tomorrow. One should be able to walk outdoors, and be connected instantly via audio call to someone else walking. When one is watching a movie at home, they should be able to be connected instantly via video to someone else watching the exact same movie. When one is masturbating, etc. There is a ton of interesting matchmaking that is possible here. It will also drastically change social fabrics. It will either strengthen a globally diverse social circle, or it will blur the seams of the individual into a assimilation of people on the other line—either way, it provides the option of never being alone ever again. No business model for this. Also requires about 5000 people per activity, per time zone, to be able to connect you to someone reliably within a few seconds.
- An app that is a repository for conversations. The internet has rewarded the artificial and the curated, to the surprise of the youths who consume it. A repository of conversations has several advantages. Conversations between coworkers can be recorded into the app (either via using the app, or uploaded to the app), and then shared with other coworkers. Automatic transcription would allow the content of a conversation to be searchable, so you can skip easily to the parts that affect you, as well as allow an organisation to search all conversations, and segments of conversations that affect product Z, etc. Initially adoption within meetings makes sense, as transcriptions, note taking, and sharing with relevant parties makes it a valuable resource to the company and those who were not able to attend that meeting, and for general accounting purposes. However, for remote teams, this would allow for an increased asynchronous workflow and reduced meetings, offering increased productivity. However, there is also personal use cases. Let’s say you like brainstorming with friends spontaneously, or attending study groups, someone can record the conversation via their watch without effort, and then after the converation, the recording is shared privately between the attendees. Over time, or say decades, one can have a great picture of where their focus has gone, as well as highlight reels of conversations they can share with others. Podcasters can get more enriched content. Privacy would be attendees only, but with attendee permission, be able to be switched to public. Profiles would be generated, where you can see all the conversations that a person had that are privy to you, such as those that are public or you participated in, or that the attendees agreed to share with you. The ability for public profiles here is nifty, as it builds up profiles of who someone authentically is — these are conversations, not edited and neatly presented youtube videos or instagram posts. One can even search the repository, find all the conversations and segments of conversations and people that are relevent to their search. People can find those discussion similar ideas, or opposite ideas. The app would allow people to connect to each other easily and add more content to the repository. In the end, we have a public repository of conversation, owned and controlled by the participants — not corporations or governments. There is no reason why Google or the USA government should have this ability, but not the people themselves. The business model here is to target businesses first, as they have a need that they can pay for, and as the tech develops and platform matures, then launch for the general public. Alternatively, one can make it simply as a conversation repository (without any recording abilities) and launch directly to the public, as costs would be minimal.
- A platform for trading signals (so when to buy, sell, short things like stocks or cryptocurrencies), where a user can register a strategy into the system (a strategy being something that sends signals), and other users can subscribe to that strategy, to be alerted of its signals, and optionally to connect its signals directly to their wallets and exchanges. Those who maintain the strategies in the platform, would earn either a percentage of profits from those who used it, or take a monthly subscription fee from its users. Strategies can be public or invite only. This would allow anyone to benefit from automated trading, and allow it to become a tool of the public, instead of large fintech corporations. Currently the automated trading market works by programmers creating strategies, upload them to tools like quantopian, and then get a small kickback of the investor money that was traded with their strategy. It only benefits big time investors, not the everday person, and limits the earning potential of the strategy creators.
I’d give the world to work on these ideas with others, even in the form of debating them. As they are in one form or another, what I’ve already devoted my life to. And I’m tired of working on them alone, as my horizons can only get me so far.
There is potential for doing these ideas in a community spirit. One doesn’t need to be a corporation that keeps secrets from accomplishing them. However, even if they are accomplished through competition rather than community, they will still get accomplished, and that is what matters. I just hope I can help them along, in whatever ways I can.