With 2013 soon to be over, many people look back blasé or with admiration at the new technological developments of the past year; I prefer instead to think of new ideas, things I’m currently missing and would like to see incorporated into future products. So here is my current, albeit rather short, list:
Just a month ago, the world was gearing up to watch comet ISON in its full glory – which unfortunately ended up pretty badly for the comet after being burned and shredded by the encounter with the Sun. I was also trying to find the comet in the morning sky before the perihelion passage, but the weather was not on my side. Each morning when I woke up it was cloudy outside, with no chance to see anything on the sky. So you see my problem: rather than having to wake up every time and go outside to check the weather only to discover it’s overcast, wouldn’t it be better if the alarm would only ring if it’s clear outside? Current smartphones certainly have the information required, but as far as I know there is no app connecting the two – feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe IFTTT or Google Now could build something like that. It would be useful outside the circle of amateur astronomers: imagine your alarm waking you up earlier when it snowed outside or when it’s freezing to give you enough time to make it to work or to your appointments!
And apparently someone already built an app like that, for iOS at least! I should try it out at some point.