I’m not just a mobile program manager, I’m also a mobile user.
I’ve noticed that it is easy to get deeply involved in my day-to-day activities and never stop to put my thinking cap on. Usually the last items on my task list, the ones I never seem to have time for, are those related to thinking forward, developing strategies, or creating visions. It seems most people, including myself, feel guilty about putting the feet up and staring at a small spot on the ceiling while switching the brain into deep processing mode. In addition to this being a matter of not breaking routine, I also believe it can be comforting to work on the tactical and logistical stuff and avoid stepping out into empty space where our minds can run free.
Well, I decided to challenge myself today while hiding out from work during a snow storm. The goal? I work on mobile projects, but I’m also a mobile user, so what are ten things I can envision being useful when I am out and about? Please note that this can be the space for dumb ideas or capturing one that already exists, but when done regularly it can produce some truly visionary items that can be potentially added to your current or future projects.
1. In-store GPS – my iPhone can get me to the store, but can it actually help me when I am in the store? Imagine having a lists of twenty items you need to buy at the local big box store and when you walk in the door a map suddenly appears to guide you to each destination. In and out in less than five minutes. Stores might not like this because I would no longer randomly wander down the aisles throwing unnecessary junk into my cart, but it sure would be a nice differentiator between available shopping experiences.
2. Point of sale negotiations – I’m in Best Buy and I’m finally ready to buy that tablet. Three contenders sit right in front of me and it’s time to make a decision. Considering that the devices are close in quality and feature sets, which manufacturer really wants my business? I want to bring each of them into a virtual bidding war for my business. I’m ready to spend today, so who is more motivated to move inventory and give me the best price or bundle in a few extras.
3. Audio streams at concerts – lousy sound systems and screaming fans no longer work for me. Ticket prices are high and I want to hear the music. I saw Bob Dylan a few months back and couldn’t hear a word he sang. Classic songs went by and I had no idea. It’s time to let me slip on the iPhone headphones and hear Bob sing Maggie’s Farm. Heck, for an additional price, sell me live tracks and let me take home a real souvenir.
4. Video streams at movies – sorry, there are many bad seats at your local movie theater. Stream the movie to my iPad and let me switch back and forth between big and little screen depending on the scene playing. The streaming version could also answer ‘hey – who is that actress and what has she been in before?’. It would be fun to see other ways movies could be augmented, more so if they fit the category of never going to contend for a best picture nod.
5. Track routine activities – everybody else has my data but me. I’d like an app that automatically logs specific events and data about me, for my use. Get an oil change – logged with date/time and type of oil used. Go to the dentist – logged with procedures performed, copies of my x-rays, and date of my next appointment. Go to a restaurant – remember what I ordered and the cost of the final tab. I know I can manually enter this information, but I’d rather have my device capturing data while I’m on the run getting things done.
I’ve got five more ideas, but that will need to wait for my next blog. In the meantime, take a few minutes and run through a similar exercise. I’d love to hear what you come up with…