Anyone who has read this blog for very long knows that I cook up ideas while I am day dreaming. Dozens of them, little inventions, products, things that make certain tasks easier or even make networks more secure. Recently I had an idea that would encourage healthy choices, so I figured it would help with a few of our first world problems.
No Original Ideas
I’ve come to the conclusion that there are few truly original ideas. That’s why I share mine here on my blog. I have no plans to form a start-up and run with any of them. I have a lifestyle and family to protect after all! 🙂 In this case I decided to look up to see if anyone had already done something similar and it turns out they had. The closest thing I found to my idea was an App called AgingBooth. Agingbooth basically allows you to see what you might look like in the future, however that’s where the similarities stop.
What this App would do
This app will take the image you take of yourself but also have you input some general health and lifestyle information. Some of the items might include:
- Your birth date
- How much and what kinds of exercise you get per day/week
- Eating habits
- If you smoke and if so how much
- If you drink and if so how much
Once you enter the baseline variables, the app will generate an image of what you might look like based on your current lifestyle choices in several points in the future (or just a manually inputted # of years). It would also show you an anticipated weight and life expectancy. Admittedly the life expectancy question will be tough but there is obviously data based on studies that show statistical impacts of certain lifestyle decisions. Pretty much anything that there is good data available for could be included.
Encouraging Healthy Choices
To make the app more valuable, you will be able to alter your lifestyle variables. You could for example indicate you stop smoking, or even start drinking heavily – to see the effects it will have on your appearance and life expectancy. People using the app could do very long term lifestyle planning, something many of us rarely do.
The potential is there for additional layers. Certainly it would be great to project at what point you will be able to achieve certain physical challenges. Examples would be hiking to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, running a marathon, or even finishing a triathlon.
Users could enter in their achievements and get badges within a social component of the app. The social layer could include accountability partners, people you agree to automatically share your information with. These people could send you notes of encouragement, congratulate you for achievements or encourage you to take up kayaking and give up smoking because it will add years to your life.
Integration with Other Health Programs
There are a number of devices and programs that track physical activity, caloric intake and all kinds of other health data. The possibilities to integrate some of these programs into this app are real.
The data in the app will be as scientific as possible, but there are obvious legal issues with regards to life decisions. A skilled team of lawyers will have to shield the designer from being liable in law suits. I’m not a lawyer, but maybe making it for “based on science but designed for fun and entertainment purposes only” and include lots of “refer to your physician before making xyz decisions about your blah, blah”. I’d welcome a legal perspective in the comments!
Want to use this idea?
Send your cashiers check or money order to:
Just kidding, if you want to use this idea I’d love to hear from you.
On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being “horrible idea” and 10 being “call the Venture Capitalists right away!” please rate this idea in the comment section below.