Car remotes are so dumb

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How often have you parked your car and returned to it to see whether you have locked your car or not or more importantly it’s locked or not. Sometimes kids leave the door ajar, sometimes it’s semi closed and in neither cases the remote would be able to lock the car.

Presently the feedback you get when you lock the car is either visual or audio from the car. It makes a beep or blinks the indicator to tell its locked or unlocked. For me that doesn’t work and I have been thinking of what we can do to change this.

If we have a smart remote which communicates with car, and gets a feedback from the car when the operation was successful or not and displays it to the user either via a small display or some LEDs, wouldn’t that be great.

I would be happy to pay extra to get this remote for sure ūüôā

Happy and safe parking !!!

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electronic vault for credit cards

My wife misplaced her purse for 8hrs while I was travelling and she had to cancel all cards ūüė¶ the good part was the she got the purse back, the bad part that she had called all the banks and cancelled the cards.

I use my credit card as direct debit option across multiple services both geeky and utility based and to be honest I don’t have a list of services where the credit cards are linked.

So for the next 4-6 weeks, I was monitoring my emails, surface mails, sms to  look for any message which talks about payment failure and then going manually and updating the service with the new card.

This whole process was painful, had periods of suspension or discontinuity, required lot of overhead.

As a customer I am happy to pay getpocket few $’s who can keep a track of all my credit card subscriptions and be a single dashboard when such an incident occurs.

Imagine the GetPocket Dashboard

РList of Credit Cards which are subscribed 
– List of services which are direct debit with due dates and amount
– Option to suspend/update the Credit Card which in turn will update the subscriptions.

Paypal does this to some extent but then PayPal is not used everywhere.

e-commerce sites want do lucky draw

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Every business wants to attract new customers and a very common way of doing it is by doing a marketing campaign, a survey where everyone participates and the winner is chosen via a lucky draw.

For small businesses its quite a task to do this, they have to outsource it to a third party vendor.

This website/service is going to reduce the friction for any business to allow to do this.

You register an account, provide all the user-ids & names which need to go into the lucky draw. You set the time when the lucky draw is set to happen. The service will provide with a unique URL which when clicked will show the details about the draw.

At the time of draw it would use random.org and generate a random number and then declare the result.

The admin can declare the result based on the lucky-draw service.

Its a very simple tool and will be really useful.

priceline gobbles up kayak

Travel industry has a super heavyweight, priceline.com has acquired kayak.com for whopping $1.8B. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-technology/priceline-negotiates-18-billion-kayak-deal-20121109-2923c.html 

I was reading through the quarterly results of kayak.com and found useful data http://ir.kayak.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=719891

Some of the key things for the 3rd quarter

  • 246 million queries on Big Web
  • 56 million queries on mobile
  • Big Web¬†Revenue Per Thousand ¬†Queries $305
  • Mobile Revenue Per Thousand ¬†Queries $65
  • Revenue from non-US geographies was¬†$17.3 million compared to $61.3 from US

For every 1 query on mobile there are around 5 queries happening on web, and similarly for every $1 revenue on mobile there is 5 times more revenue on big web. This kind of tells if we increase the reach of mobile than we will get equivalent revenue.

Great work Kayak team, kudos for giving us a great tool to plan our travel…

 

real estate search

We haves been searching a property to rent long enough that I have spent multiple hours using domain.com.au and realestate.com.au sites. I have used iPhone & iPad apps and the big web to persue the task at hand.

They are great sites no doubts about it but I think that’s because of the content and not due to actual presentation. The data is exclusive to these sites, as a developer I don’t have to access to this data. This closed information stifles the innovation which could happen in this area.

I have at least three ideas which would make this site more useful and give a better perspective on renting or buying.

Here are the ideas in priority order, advantages, business value

  • Map mash up : iPad app already draws the property on google maps, my idea is to enhance this further have more layers on top of this layer of 131500 bus routes ability to draw a polygon in maps and restrict the search in that polygon
    Once you have the public transport you can show the travel times easily
  • Ability to hide some properties : as you don’t like them, it’s annoying to have them in your search results even though you don’t want them
  • can we share anonymous data of previous data like previous tenants, children, single, married etc
  • panoramic picture of the house, is that really hard. Given the new apps in the market it’s pretty easy job to stitch all of them together and make a perfect 360 view.
  • publish stats or trends more often, these guys are sitting on a treasure, it’s such rich data, can we publish any information we can gather from the data. It will make the consumer informed, add traction to the site.

These features are pretty easy to implement, none of them require huge re-architecture.

Would love to hear from other users or the product owners of the above sites and what they have to say about the feature list.