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Amazing ideas!

David_W
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Registered: 19-07-2007

Amazing ideas!

Have you ever had a really amazing idea which you totally forgot about and later found out it had turned into an amazingly successful product, or not forgotten about and it got turned into an amazingly successful product?
Several years ago I had an internal pci modem, and I was thinking to myself "hey, this is internal and Linux is running everything, why can't I use this as like, a router, it can take care of the firewall and stuff, and I can download things to the hard drive things like that, maybe a smaller device would work" that kinda thing, a few years later it seems to be that high end routers do exactly what I thought of all that time ago, I shoulda patented it and become rich.
My latest idea is probably one that could make me a millionaire, so I'll share it here so someone can become mega rich (don't forget me when you do Tongue).  Ok, we got the Andriod and the iPhone and whatnot, all of them have a camera which is useful.  Now, imagine you are in Japan and lost, or in Japan and want to eat, but the signs are all in Japanese and you want to eat now!  But you don't want to order pickled horse brains with a side order of bulls, err, bits by mistake, you want the tuna sushi, so what do you do?  Simple, you grab your phone and take a photo of whatever you want translated, you then go into the app, lets call it iTranslateWhatYouTakeAPhotoOf (name needs work) select the From as Japanese, the To as English, click Upload and the image gets uploaded to the "cloud" where OCR software recognises the word (in theory) and sends you back a translation of that word into English.  The OCR is online in the cloud because an OCR on an iPhone would be silly.
It doesn't have to be just Japanese though, French, German, Spanish, Welsh, Klingon, if the OCR supports it it can be translated.  That is my current amazing idea, I'm probably not the first person to think of it, though I did think of it a while ago so maybe I am, but its one of those "do it now!" things.
Anyone else have amazing ideas? Cheesy
19 REPLIES
pierre_pierre
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Re: Amazing ideas!

bit late really, Google and others can translate words including chinese, japenese to englsh.  and some phones can read bar codes and tell you what it is including those funny square ones
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Re: Amazing ideas!

But.... do they do it from a .jpg or .png fileHuh??  Roll eyes
pierre_pierre
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Re: Amazing ideas!

well they use the camera to read the bar codes, and the oriental pictograms I took from the internet
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Re: Amazing ideas!

Quote from: pierre_pierre
bit late really, Google and others can translate words including chinese, japenese to englsh.  and some phones can read bar codes and tell you what it is including those funny square ones

True, but as far as I'm aware no-one's tied the two together in the way that dgwebb suggests – although something slightly similar is the recent dictation service that's becoming available to iPhone users in the US where you record something and it gets turned in to text by an internet service.
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Re: Amazing ideas!

Yeah, its one of those where all the elements probably exist, but nobody has applied them, or pulled them together in quite the way suggested.
I guess even if you tried to make it work, somebody else would always either beat you to market, or would get a greater share based upon their name for doing something similar.
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Re: Amazing ideas!

in the mid eighties an old girlfriend and I used to spend many hours singing songs into a couple of Sony Electrostat mics onto an Akai 4000DS tape deck.
I used to write the words to each song into a database on my BBC B+128 and wrote a small program to display the words in time to the music.
We had many competitions as to who was the best singer.
Think the idea caught on a few years later... Wink

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David_W
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Re: Amazing ideas!

I saw about Karaoke on I think it was Adam and Joe.  The Japanese guy who "invented" it didn't bother to patent the idea, he would have been so rich if he had!
A quick google seems to suggest there is an OCR app for the iPhone already, very recent too  Embarrassed (not sure it uses the cloud though for translation?)
Google can translate yes, but, you're in Japan and you see a word you need translating, you fire up Google, how do you input the hiragana or katakana that you need to translate?  There are really long German words too!  Having the ability to take a photo of the Japanese word which then gets converted via OCR to text for translation is the answer, it's so simple an idea, but someone beat me too it and is probably going to get very rich, I should have wrote an app when I thought of the idea.
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Re: Amazing ideas!

I also remember in the early eighties thinking it would be great to have a video preview screen on a VCR so that you could find the right bit without having to desturb what others may be watching.
Philips brought one out in the early nineties - never seemed to take off, though.

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Re: Amazing ideas!

I once toyed with the idea of using Connected Sat-Nav units to report their position and road speed etc.
The thinking being that its basically what a lot of fleet managers were doing at the time anyway.
Other fleets who weren't using such a system could benefit from sat nav.
And this sat nave would know what speeds were on roads in real time, thus making them better than others.
The more people got on board with the idea, the better the system would become.
As a further development, it would have given a stepping stone for a meaningful widespread survey of the effect of per-mile charging methods, allowing people to calculate their own charges based upon a number of proposed models and their actual historic motoring history.
Another logical step from a connected GPS system would be the ability to real-time update speed limits. If you could get approvals, and have manufacturers fit them to vehicles, you could have the option of having a car that wouldn't break a speed limit - even where a temp limit is in force for roadworks etc - leaving the driver to concentrate on safety, without worrying about his/her road speed creeping over a limit.
Of course - the last part wouldn't catch on, the Gov't would never approve or support such a system, as it would instantly cut 'road safety' revenues.
Also people would insist that there is a benefit to being allowed to briefly stray over the limit in certain circumstances, thus they'd never buy the system.
As a starting point - virtually all of the tech exists.
All you need are a few large fleets to buy into the idea, and you have a system delivering a benefit.
Insurers might offer discounts too, since they could charge you per mile/timeof day (as a few specialist firms do now)
Trouble is, I have no idea how to make it happen, and there are always going to be more established names in the marketplace who can beat me to market.
Plus cars increasingly have sat-nav built in, so you would also need to convince manufacturers to license the tech/system/idea, or you'd be on a losing streak.
Not sure how long it'll be, but I see somebody making it happen at some stage.
David_W
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Re: Amazing ideas!

That sounds like the black box that government want people to put into their cars for PAYG road tax isn't it?
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Re: Amazing ideas!

Quote
I once toyed with the idea of using Connected Sat-Nav units to report their position and road speed etc

Always dissapointed that the likes of 3COM (and other network card makes) havn't been able to included GPS chips on network cards.
Imagine being able to Ping a network device and find its spatial location.
Good for technical support, but also useful for anti terrorism and tracking e-crime.
Pity technology has to move forward a bit first
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Re: Amazing ideas!

Quote from: journeys
Imagine being able to Ping a network device and find its spatial location.

Yeah....imagine Undecided Embarrassed
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pierre_pierre
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Re: Amazing ideas!

back about 93 or 94 at Fords Dunton the Engine Development section were starting to fit a system to their test vehcles that did indeed plot there near enough location.  The Workshops had door sensors that logged the vehicle in and out and the vehicle received its GPS location and transmitted that back to base via Cell Phone.  I think the total fleet was over 1000 vehicles
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Re: Amazing ideas!

Quote from: dgwebb
That sounds like the black box that government want people to put into their cars for PAYG road tax isn't it?

It has the potential to be used for that if it were accepted as a method.
Based upon the various trials they did of per-mile charging there were some significant issues with the models they had drawn up - but yes, part of the idea is that not only could you use it to evaluate different models of pricing/charging as an end user, but also so that HM Gov't could purchase aggregated/anonymous data to complete any future study more effectively.
People wouldn't want them of course, because they'd be scared that they'd get caught out speeding.
There are alternative positives that might outweigh the negatives for some people though.