Request for Startups idea, which was somewhat like their "Startups We'd Like to Fund" post of yesteryear. Basically, rather than suffer through the dissatisfaction of loving the apps they're with, the good folks at the aforementioned accelerator program decided to give developers a little insight on what their startup wishlist might look like.Y Combinator's getting pretty fancy with their very detailed
Never ones to be outdone, we at ReadWriteWeb have labored intensely and discussed among ourselves to produce this app wishlist. We can't offer funding, but it would make us picky little Internet geeks terribly happy if someone developed any of the six apps listed below. You know, while we're waiting for the flying cars and food replicators.
1. Real-Time Mobile & Web Sports App
As it stands, jocks and geeks still sit at opposite ends of the cafeteria. As with other verticals not typically in the geek milieu, sports have too long been ignored in terms of technology, support, and bleeding the sweet, sweet revenue from sports fans' pockets. The sports channels and leagues each have their own bloated, useless apps, but somebody needs to create an agnostic web and mobile application to deliver real-time data, the parameters of which would be user-determined. All of this data is readily available online, ready to be queried by the right script kiddie. Sports fans need up-to-the-instant scores, game developments, news on teams and players, and stats relating to fantasy league play. If you can get the gambling angle, too, through resources such as the Sports Data Query Language, then you have a real money-maker on your hands. In fact, we're not even sure why we're telling you this rather than developing it ourselves. We must be gluttons for poverty.
2. Full-Length Movies on Mobiles
It's a matter of time, we're sure, before you look next to you on a subway and see a guy watching V for Vendetta on his iPhone. Movies are getting quicker to stream and more mobile, and mobile video display is a quickly-aligning Rubik's cube. A combination of the right coding technology, the right player, and the right partnership with a giant such as Hulu or Netflix could allow some lucky startup to charge the pants off of mobile users per movie. Plus, it'd be a great trick to keep the kids quiet in restaurants or church or wherever, and who, parents and non-parents alike, can't get behind an idea like that?
3. Multiplayer Augmented Reality Social Gaming
A few months ago, we found out what Crash Corp was up to, and that bee has been in our bonnet ever since. Augmented reality mobile gaming is definitely the frontier of its space. It's a gamble getting gamers away from their hotly-defended consoles, their PCs laden with expensive video cards, and all the games and ways of game playing they know. That would be, shall we say, a game changer. Ha ha. But we feel the coolest, most hardcore application of AR gaming can be achieved through multiplayer, socially enhanced, RPG-type games as opposed to the kind of casual games that isolate rather than connect users and don't tend to induce hours of Mountain-Dew fueled play. Something like foursquare is the embryonic, interface-free, back-end concept for what mobile gaming will become. We predict that in five years, all gamer geeks will have farmer's tans. Also, the addition of semi-virtual currency in marketing promotions that are location- and proximity-based make AR mobile a brand's most fantastic dream.
4. Real-Time Social Streams as Gesture-Responsive, Dimensional Displays
It's 2009. We don't have any flying cars. We don't have a moon colony. We've waited this long, and we want SOMETHING, damn it. Give us our Minority Report-esque gesture-controlled holographic displays, or at least a BumpTop-like 3D app that can handle concepts such as relative size and weight of discussions, apps, and other users. With existing apps such as Seesmic Desktop and its ilk becoming real-time and constantly present, we see our entire social graph's firehose glutting the data stream with absolutely too much information until it truly becomes the time-waster the mainstream claimed it was all along. We now need an app that can imaginatively and radically simplify statuses and microblogging and how we receive and parse them, and we're talking TED-level imagination. Why anyone that brilliant would want to work on social media projects is anyone's guess, but hey, it's our wishlist.
5. Shopping App for Thrift Stores
We can't believe some hipster hasn't picked up on this already, but someone ought to develop a web and mobile app specifically for thrift stores, kind of like TheThriftShopper, but much more than a directory. We want to see locations, reviews, sales and specials, pics of good finds, and a social community for organizing ugly sweater parties! With the revolving door that is any second-hand shop's inventory, it's probably not reasonable to ask for an Internet of Things-type cataloging program -- yet. But it would be simple and fun enough to use certain APIs to create this kind of mashup.
6. Personal Inventory and Shopping App
We've seen several trade-and-barter apps lately, such as NeighborGoods and OurShelf, that allow users to catalog items they already own and request those they need. And there are a few good shopping applications, such as Alice, out there, both in terms of inventory control as well as social shopping. But coming back to the Internet of Things, what we want is more inclusive and integrated than anything we've seen yet. We would like someone to develop a way to manage multiple home shopping lists, including groceries, book/DVD wishlists, etc., that sync with retailer inventories and send mobile alerts. It would also require a mobile app that allows shopping to be completed and automatically updates web-based lists accordingly. Eventually, this is the kind of tech that could be used to create truly smart shopping carts, as well.
As incredible as it may seem, there are corners of the Internet upon which the RWW team has not stumbled. If you know of any good apps that fit these categories, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Also, if you've got a wishlist of your own, feel free to share below.