The app ideas on The Apprentice were rubbish… how hard can it be?

20110511-apps

I’ve just finished watching the second episode of the current series (series 7) of The Apprentice on BBC 1 during which the challenge was for the two teams to design, launch and promote their own mobile phone app[lication].

The boys created a border-line racist app with annoying voices. The girls an app with annoying sounds.

If I’d been on The Apprentice I’m sure I could have come up with better ideas. In fact, I’m going to prove it by blogging my ideas live. Right now. Watch:

  • IDEA #1: Often you’ll be out and about with your phone. Maybe you’re running late, perhaps for an interview or a meeting. Maybe you’re just tired. Why not create a mobile phone app that’s also a bike, so you can just sit on it and it will allow you to pedal yourself to your destination!

Genius! See how easy that was?

  • IDEA #2: An app that makes the most out of the accelerometer (motion sensor) built into a lot of mobile devices these days. So it’s an app that helps you tie your tie. You first attach your mobile phone to the end of your tie, using bulldog clips or elastic bands or something, then the app talks you through tying a tie: “That bit over and then under and then through…”

Wow! I’m on a roll.

  • IDEA #3: Jane and I like our toast to be different levels of cooked-ness. Jane likes hers to be very brown, I like mine to be borderline hot-bread. How about an app that you run, tell it what colour brown you’d like your toast to be, then you pop your phone into the toaster (beside your slice of bread) and it will play an alarm when your toast has reached the right level of brown. Obviously it would need to use the camera for that.

Practical! Although, I suspect like a lot of apps that’s one that will not be used very often. Presumably because it would help educate folks about how long bread needs to be in the toaster until it reaches their ideal state.

  • IDEA #4: How about an app that you run when you’re standing next to a busy road. The interface would be nice and simple. First you enter your average walking speed in (metres per hour or fathoms per second), then you press a “check now!” button which activates your device’s in-built camera which you point first one direction and then the next, pausing for a minimum of 7 seconds each direction. Then… and this is the really clever bit… the app will play an alert of your choosing (from the three available: a horn; the sound of a gibbon slurping ice cream; or the same horn, but played in French) so you know when it’s safe to cross the road.

I imagine that that’s the kind of app that could save lives.

See! Not a single idea there that involves racist stereotypes or annoying sounds.

Campus

20110511-kirkeuniversity

I’ve just finished watching the sixth—and I presume final—episode in the current series of Campus, the Channel 4 comedy made by the creators of Green Wing set in the fictional Kirke University.

I do hope there will be another series. I’ve loved every minute of it. Vice-Chancellor Jonty de Wolfe is a legend.

You can still watch the entire series on 4oD for the next 29 days (until Sunday 5 June 2011), and do check-out the Kirke University’s website: inspiration for us all.

Day 11: A song from your favourite band #30dsc

30 day challenge day 11: A song from your favourite band

Lamb of God—Descending

My favourite band, huh? There’s a tricky one.

In the 80s and early 90s it was Queen. In the 90s and early 00s it was Metallica. In the 00s and 10s my favourite bands have probably been both Opeth and Lamb of God.

I first came across Lamb of God in 2004 while browsing in the (now-gone) HMV store in the Gyle shopping centre in Edinburgh. Two of their albums, As The Palaces Burn (2003) and Ashes of the Wake (2004), were on the end-of-aisle display in the metal section of the store.

I bought them both because I liked the name and the packaging was intriguing. They looked like promisingly-good listens. Little did I know just how good.

I raced back to the car. Popped it into the stereo and… wow!

Their next album Sacrament (2006) was outstanding. Definitely one of my favourite albums ever, and a certain contender for being played on Desert Island Discs if they ever run out of guests and invite me on. Lamb of God on BBC Radio 4: now that would be cool!