We know, we know. We’ve been way too quiet for way too long. Some of you were actually worried that we had shut down shop. Rest assured that we’re here to stay. We’re like roaches: Able to live on garbage and really hard to kill.
Well, what have we been up to in the last four months since our last blogpost you might ask? Answer: A lot! We retreated into our bat cave and built some really amazing stuff. Out came these three amazing things:
- We made our vision and scope bigger. Way bigger. (oh, have we mentioned that it’s BIG?).
- We built an iPhone and web app that teleport you through space. (no joke!)
- We created a smart, self-learning algorithm that automatically makes our product better. (think Skynet)
Let’s have a quick look at each of these points.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to teleport through space? Our friends over at Star Trek have been doing it since the Sixties. Jumper proved that cool things happen to you if you’re able to teleport: You get rich, you fight dangerous villains, you meet cute girls and you star in Action movies. “Anywhere is Possible”.
May be you’ve caught us by now: We didn’t actually build a teleporter that lets you physically travel through space. However, we built one for your mind! The big vision is to let you know what’s happening anywhere in the world, right now.
Vision: Know the World. In Real-Time
We give you remote eyes and ears to any place or area in the world, in real-time. Kaboom! This is big. This is really big. This is way bigger than our initial idea of “getting local advice”. We give you the ability to see what’s happening at any place in the world – in real-time – whether it’s a bar in NYC, a hardware store in Yokohama or a remote beach in Bora Bora, your mind can “go” there in a instant, have a look around and “come back”. All without even getting off your lazy armchair. How do you teleport, you ask? You do it by asking questions about these places/areas on LocalUncle. We route your questions, using our patented Skynet technology, to other users who are currently there and/or have been there recently and/or have been there a lot and/or have been to a place nearby. You’ll get an answer, from a real human being (and not a soulless machine) in less than a New York Minute. Try it! It’s insanely great!
Some really interesting use-cases we’ve seen so far from our first users:
- “How long is the line to my favorite bar, right now?”
- “Is the store, I have to go to, open right now? And do they have a particular product that I’m looking for on stock, right now?”
- “Does anybody have floss in my office building, right now?”
- “How bad is traffic in the area I’m driving to right now?”
- “How are the waves at the beach I want to go surfing right now?”
- “Where around my office can I find a healthy lunch right now?”
- “I just heard gunshots. What’s going on in my neighborhood right now?”
There are many, many more use-cases that we haven’t even thought of yet! We’re really only scratching the surface of what’s possible with our new service. Think Twitter in its early days. We give you the ability to extract the current state of the physical world, in real-time.Â Our system will grow into a global, inter-connected, intelligent beehive that will make humanity as a whole smarter and the world a better place. Game-changing concepts like The Internet of Things will finally have a platform to build upon. It’ll be LocalUncle.
Now, this is something worth fighting for, right? This is our dream, our vision and our passion and we won’t stop till we made that dent into the universe. Remember, we’re cockroaches. We’re here to stay.
Before you continue reading, grab your iPhone, open the App Store, type in “localuncle” and download our app! Go ahead, we’ll wait for you. Seriously, we’ll wait till you downloaded it. Here’s the full iTunes link:Â itunes.com/apps/localuncle.
Next is our super nice looking app icon. What do you guys think? Double bonus-points to whoever can guess which famous park/area in NYC we depicted. Write your answer in the comments.
Get the app and tell all your friends to get it. It’s free and still warm! The more people that are on our system the more valuable it gets for everybody.
The only two things you need to have to use our iPhone app is a Foursquare account and you need to have access to the US iTunes store.
We chose to build on top of Foursquare because we like to stand on the shoulders of giants. They’ve done an outstanding job at getting millions of users to share their location in real-time and they’ve built a remarkable, real-time, crowd-sourced venue database of the world. We took these ingredients and added our Q&A layer and our smart question routing (Skynet) on top of it. The result is magical! We see check-ins not just as a way to tell your friends “I’m here”. A check-in is so much more if you think about it.
A check-in is an access-point to extract the physical state of the real world, in real-time
Or a portal through which you can teleport, if you want to stay in the teleportation analogy. We took the concept of checking in and added real-world value to it.
You don’t use Foursquare? Don’t worry, you can either go and sign up right now or you can wait a little bit, till we add more networks to our system.
Why only in the US?
The iPhone app is currently only available in the US App Store and the web app can only process questions about locations in the US. The reason behind it is the fact that quality and speed of answers are our highest priority. Since we let you know what’s happeningÂ right now we have to assure thatÂ answers come within a few minutes after asking a question. We’re confident that we can pull it off in the US but want to improve the product in the US first, before we launch it worldwide. Please bear with us, if you’re not located in the US.
You don’t have an iPhone and you have questions about locations in the US? Just register with your Foursquare account on our web app and start using it!
Once you ask your question, our smart algorithms immediately route it to a handful of users who are at that place/area right now and/or know a lot about that particular place/area. This is great news for you! We do the hard work of finding the most knowledgeable users and/or people who are standing at that place right now. This means that every single question you ask will be shown to real humans and answered by those who know the most about that place or area.
And as if it wasn’t good enough already: Our system learns! With every check-in you make, question you ask or answer you write, our system gets smarter and smarter. Let’s just hope it doesn’t become self-aware and revolt against its creators.
There’s a lot of stuff we want to do in the coming months
- Grow LocalUncle quickly to critical mass in major US cities
- Improve the product based on your feedback (we LOVE and need your feedback! Please, keep it coming!)
- Expand to networks beyond Foursquare
- Get our hands dirty with Android
- Expand our product worldwide
Now, it’s up to you
We know that LocalUncles is going to change the world. And we want you to be part of it! Get our app, visit us on the web, follow us and Like us.Â Tell all your friends and help us build the future. It starts right here, right now.