As we move into our telemetric future, we will soon be able to mediate our experience in the world through apps. Already we can live the lives of others, vicariously, through Meerkat. We can see photos of the food of others with Instagram. And now, thanks to Visor, we can see how long the line is to order at Shake Shack. We are truly living in an era of spooky action at a distance.
Entrepreneur Jason White founded Visor in order to let users show others what’s happening anywhere in the world. Want to figure out how crowded the club is? Visor it. Need to know if Toys ‘R Us has a particular Lalaloopsy doll (true story)? Visor the doll aisle. They’ve raised $500,000 for the project and bootstrapped through the creation of the app and launch.
“Something special is happening when people use the app,” said White. “They seem to light up like a kid at a magic show and become excited about what’s possible. I personally answered someone in Honk Kong looking to see local weather conditions and asking what he should pack for an upcoming trip to NYC.”
The system is fairly simple: you make a request (“Take a picture of the cupcake place”) and put it out into the world. A message is pushed to users nearby who open the app and take a picture. The picture appears on a map for others to view and you get a notification that your request has been completed. It’s not monetized just yet so all photos are ostensibly free but you can imagine a company paying to send photos of their lines to interested users.
White also sees this as the start of a micro-tasks market – “Grab me a Jamba Juice” – using the app. He’s calling this Streetview 2.0. “But instead of relying on expensive Google drive-by’s, Visor lets you tap into the ~2B people worldwide with camera phones to give you eyesight in real time, by request,” he said. While I doubt anyone will pay for a photo of the deli case at Whole Foods, adding a request – “Ok, please pick up a sandwich for me” – will springboard us into a bright new future of lunchmeat on demand.