On the last episode of Being Blackbeard, Tony and I were talking about a scene in the 2nd episode of Crossbones where the two pirates were discussing this new navigation device that everyone is trying to get their hands on. The one pirate said something to the effect of “I thought it was well known that we’d never be able to correctly calculate longitude.”
And I thought, how different is that from our thinking now? Back then things were assumed to be impossible and now we assume everything IS possible and it’s in the app store. We’re almost more surprised to find a need not met yet. “You mean there isn’t a robot that will wash my dishes yet? Get on that Science!”
My girlfriend remarked the other day I use my smartphone for a lot more things that she does. A side effect of my often very mobile lifestyle. But there are things it doesn’t do yet that I wish it would…
1. Write. Not just write words. I mean material. Books. Blog posts. Even after all these years I have to bribe myself with jelly beans to sit down and write. If I can’t have fairies or elves drop off fresh new jokes on my desk in the middle of the night, I’d like to at least see my phone get on the ball with that. Of course, once that function is available, everyone will be able to do it and then the entertainment business comes crashing down around us. You’ll be able to thank me for that.
2. Yard maintenance. Come on, at least as a remote control for a drone that will mow the lawn for me. Maybe pull some weeds. Bonus if it has a strong landscaping design talent.
3. Tell me who is going to annoy me. If I’m staring down the checkout lines at the grocery store, I want my phone to pipe up with “That guy has some funky BO. That lady will talk your ear off about the price of corn. Go to line number 3 and stand behind the guy with a Star Wars t-shirt and Mitch Hedberg playing on his iPod.”
4. Real world ad blocking. There are plenty of apps that block ads online. But we still have lots of billboards and political campaign signs. I want an app that will change those to something more entertaining. Maybe still frames from YouTube cat videos or a top 10 list from some random comedian’s blog. Or new jokes for my act.
5. Female to Male translator. Honestly, I’m not sure why this one doesn’t exist yet. When my girlfriend gives me some setup line like “What do you want to do on Saturday?” I want my phone to automatically translate that to “She wants to go shopping.” for me. Update: There actually is an app called “Female 2 Male Dictionary”. Named by Prince apparently. But really, I want something to yell out during the conversation and let me know what’s going on. It would awkward for me to go, “Hang on, Honey. Let me look up what you really mean.”
6. Rejection softener. In my business everyday is simply sifting through that people that like my work versus those who don’t. So when I get another email that says, “Sorry, you’re not what we’re looking for right now”, my phone should change that to, “Your talent is undeniable and you are a god among men and performers. We’ll be able to use you very soon, but not today because we’ve already got another performer who is, of course, completely inferior to you. Our bad.”
7. Memory implants. I’m not talking Inception here. More like Flipboard. Just a quick daily download of important news and synopsis of TV shows so I can talk to people during the day without sounding out of touch. I don’t usually have time to read and watch everything I’d like. Just pop it in my head. And please have robust filters so I can ignore the keywords “Bieber” and “Kardashian”.
8. Confrontation App. I don’t like confrontation and will simply avoid topics or people that I know will generate disagreement. Sometimes it’s unavoidable though. When political candidates come up or maybe the price of corn with that annoying lady at the grocery store I want to be able to just hold up my phone and have it rattle off a precise, logical, and well informed argument in my favor. Then I can just look at the other person, point at my phone, shrug, and walk away.
9. Audience hotspot reader. Almost like an eye-tracking test. When I get on stage I’d like to be able to hold up my phone and see on screen who the good fun people are and where the hecklers, bachelorette parties, and people who will try to tell me racist jokes after the show are. I can then adjust performance accordingly and/or chamber my comebacks.
10. Sleep App. I mean an app that will sleep for me. Like if I haven’t finished my to-do list for the day. Or I’ve got another 4 hours to drive. The app should sleep for me and I feel plenty refreshed. And at other times when the app asks, “Would you like me to sleep for you, sir?” I can say, “That’s ok phone. I got this one.”
Bonus: Everything App. Why keep downloading new apps with upgrades and all. We just need one app. What does this app do? Everything.
So, yeah… Get on that Science.