In the world of creativity, if you're not starting a fire, then what's the point? So, we've created a portal to celebrate the most revolutionary and thought-provoking ideas we're seeing in the world today. Some are ideas we've recognized from others and we're tipping our hats to, and others are ones we thought of (go figure). Either way you cut it, you won't find a dull moment here, and hopefully we've inspired you to start your own fire.
It is undeniable that touch screens are popular in today’s world but, something people tend to forget is the importance of physical buttons which can sometimes make your life easier. For instance, a single click on a button could automatically launch and turn on your flashlight app without having to even unlock your phone.
Meet Pressy, a tiny button that sits in your headphone jack and allows quick access to frequently-used functions and built only for Android devices (sorry iOS users). When using headphones, a user can plug Pressy into the included keychain and if the headphone features a volume control button, the app allows that button to get access to all the Pressy features. How cool!
Pressy also allows users to set up multiple functions with different combinations of presses and works along with an app. The Pressy app allows users to choose from a variety of different functions such as turning on the flashlight, instantly taking pictures, calling a number in your contacts, and so on. For instance, two short presses could tell it to call “Mom” and two long presses could cause it to play your favorite music.
Another major part of this project is the API which allows third party developers to build their own functions and features. And if you have multiple devises, you can use Pressy for all devises. The project was Kickstarter funded and received more than 17 times its initial pledge of $40,000. You can now, order the device on Pressy’s official website.
What Sparks Our Fire: An innovative little button that brings back simplicity to Android phones for quick access to frequently-used functions.
Are you ready to make better use of your headphone jack?
If you have a smartphone, you’re most likely typing fast and while doing so, you may have fell victim to autocorrect failures. Luckily, there are apps out there to help you avoid such typo mistakes. Our favorite so far is Swiftkey, a free predictive keyboard app for Androids and iOS that helps you type faster on your phone or tablet. It works by replacing your on-screen keyboard with one that adapts to the way you type. What is magical about Swifkey is it uses algorithms to learn your personal writing style and uses all information gathered to fix typos by suggesting your next word for faster and more accurate typing.
What Sparks Our Fire: An app that makes it easy to create and communicate on mobile.
While there are a number of things you can do to find the cheapest airfare, timing is everything when it comes to getting the best deals.
Hitlist is a mobile app that knows when it’s least expensive for you to book a flight to your pre-picked destinations, saving you the trouble of regularly checking travel websites. So, if you have a bucket travel list, but also a budget, Hitlist will keep tabs on travel search engines, notifying you when it’s the best time to fly to any of your selected locations. For example, you can create an alert that notifies you if/when flights to Buenos Aires are listed at $650 or less.
Among other customizable features, you can pick the best airport for your travel needs, make your Hitlist public or private, and specify if you’d like to travel only on weekends (or whenever). And there’s also a cool world map to show you all the places you plan to go to or have visited already.
What Sparks Our Fire: A mobile app that finds you the best deals on flights and helps you travel the world more affordably
What places around the globe would you save through Hitlist?
As the sharing economy continues to grow at a rapid pace, new ways of renting different types of property are developing and evolving. This enables the consumer to avoid spending significant amounts of money on items they may only use once or very sparingly.
Mootch – a platform for on-demand peer-to-peer and business-to-consumer renting of everyday goods with delivery and pick-up – has finally invented a way to make renting simple and safe. So, for example, if you have electronics, appliances or designer items that you seldomly use, you can make extra cash by renting them out to others. And the same goes for when you’re in need of an expensive device, mode of transportation or appliance that you may only be using for a couple of days, but don’t want to buy. Someone in your area probably has one you could rent.
Like many other mobile apps in the sharing economy, you can make money by safely and securely renting out your own stuff as well as cut expenses by renting when you need to do so.
What Sparks Our Fire: A mobile app to rent pretty much anything to and from people around you
Smartwatches are slowly becoming a standby on the tech world stage, even if my autocorrect doesn’t recognize “smartwatch” as a word. Although, to be fair, it doesn’t recognize “autocorrect” either.
Microsoft’s planned contribution to this quickly expanding gadget world is an item that will be compatible with the three major mobile operating systems: Apple iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile. Additionally, the watch is supposed to constantly monitor the users heart rate over its two-day battery life.
Of course, this is all speculation until the announcement is actually made. Forbes is making these assumptions via internal sources that state the watch will use Xbox Kinect technology, and recently granted patents currently support this theory. However, Microsoft has been decidedly close-mouthed about this project, which has purportedly been in development for two years.
What Sparks Our Fire: A smartwatch compatible across operating systems is a huge leap forward in making wearables a usable technology.
Do these features make the Windows Smartwatch appealing to you?