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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.
Over the past few years there have been countless messaging apps that enable users to reach out to friends over new mediums in fun and useful ways. Facebook Messenger and Snapchat are the most successful, but they aren’t even relatively fun compared to this new app.
Traces is an app where you send messages that can only be retrieved by your friends when they get to a specific location. So, when you are sending a message you pick a place where the receiver has to go within a time limit that you set in order to open it. It’s like a scavenger hunt, but with messages. Traces lets you share messages, videos, and even songs. The only downside is that the app is currently only available in the UK where it is in beta – but they are planning on bringing it to the US soon, so for now we just have to hang in there.
What Sparks our Fire: A fun new way to message our friends
It’s no secret that most of Apple’s native apps are lacking in features and there are third party apps that function much better. The one app that I previously saw no need to improve was my Contacts app. It simply does a great job of saving my contact’s phone numbers and email addresses in a simple format. Well, after downloading Humin I now can see how much I’ve been missing out on.
Humin does much more than keep track of how to contact the people you know, it reminds you how you know people, helps you remember them, and can even help you contact them. When adding a new contact into the app, by just entering a phone number or email address, it will automatically add a photo, where and when you added the contact, and where they work. While these features may appear intrusive, Humin guarantees that they are only taking the minimum amount of data onto their servers, so majority of it they will never have access to. Swiping over a contacts picture allows you to call them right from the app, or it can take you to your text message conversation with them, allowing you to use this app to fully replace the green phone app.
This app redefines what a contacts app can do by bringing your contacts into the 21st century, far away from the days of keeping a rolodex on your desk.
Yo. What seemed like something that was just too simple to actually be practical, the Yo app has grown to over 1 million users and tons of press. The app lets you send a message to your friends who use it. All you do is tap their name and they get the message “Yo.” It seems useless considering this is just slightly easier than sending a text with the same content, right? Well, today’s update to Yo adds a few updated features that makes it even more useful.
There is a new feature called Yo Index, which allows you to receive automatic Yo updates in conjunction with other services. For example, you can sign up to receive a Yo message when your package arrives from FedEx or when your Citi Bike rack runs out of bikes (as well as when one is returned there). Anyone is able to submit a feature for index meaning the possibilities are endless. It looks like a way to streamline notifications and receive them for just about anything via one single app. This feature seems to hold a lot more possibilities and usefulness than just being able to say, “Yo” to your friends.
What Sparks our Fire: An app evolving to become both useful and impressively effective.
While reminiscing about your childhood I’m sure you have fond memories of digging through the biggest Crayola box to find that perfect color. Now, as an adult, you may not be digging through that same crayon box, but if you’re a designer we’re sure you wish you could.
Scribble is the pen that changes how we interact with color. All you do is hold the back of the pen up to a surface and the pen will scan and reproduce the color within seconds. Most graphic designers would love this capability to be digital in order to replicate the color onto their computer rather than paper. No problem, there is a scribble stylus that functions the same way to easily translate the colors from the world around you, digitally. This pen makes designing and recreating colors easy. The scribble also has an associated app where you can find colors you previously scanned to use again, or share with others.
The Scribble recently started funding on Kickstarter, so if you’re ready to bring some more color into your life, go ahead and contribute.
What Sparks our Fire: A great design tool that is fun and easy to use.
Buying a new mattress? While it may not be something that you have to take care of regularly, it sure is a hassle when the time does come. Retailers carry a large amount of slightly different mattress, which you can go and sit on for about 10 minutes at a time to try and then you pick one that you will sleep on for a few years. Not to mention the difficulty of getting it delivered and brought into your house or apartment to the bedroom.
Casper is a new startup based in New York City that sells just one mattress in five different sizes. What makes Casper special is the convenience factors that they easily provide. First off your mattress comes with in five days anywhere in the US – and same day delivery in New York City – packaged up the size of a mini fridge. And once you set that bed up, you have up to 100 days to try out the mattress, and if you’re not satisfied you can send it back for a full refund.
The reviews of the product also point out that the bed is exceptionally comfortable – which is highlighted by the fact that Casper did over $1 Million in sales in just their first month.
What Sparks our Fire: Innovators making turning a rigorous process into something hassle-free
What other industries need someone to step up and make it hassle-free?