Home Science EverywhereGames & toys Getting excited about iPhone apps. The Future is Here!

Getting excited about iPhone apps. The Future is Here!

by Eva Amsen

Good news, guys! The future has finally arrived! We still can’t teleport more than single subatomic particles, and flying cars turned out to be a bit of a traffic hazard, but at least we can now control cars-that-are-not-ours with little handheld computers.

ZipCar launched their iPhone app this week. You can reserve cars and open the car doors straight from your iPhone! It’s like something straight out of James Bond, Star Trek, or Inspector Gadget.

The flags show all the parking spots in this part of town.

Reservation screen by time

Reservation screen by car model. (All the SMART cars were in use this afternoon).

I don’t have an iPhone, just an iPod Touch, so I probably can’t use it to open doors. I doubt there is a wifi signal in the parking lot. But the door opening tool is the coolest part of the gadget. When I opened it (see video below) it said “You do not have a current reservation, but you can make fun sounds anyway.” Aww yeah, fun sounds!

Beep beep! The future is here!

This is pretty much one of the coolest iPhone apps I’ve seen in a long time, and it really stretches the limits of what you can do with an iPhone. Imagine extrapolating this to the lab. You could see how many cycles you have left on the PCR machine from anywhere. You could stop the electrophoresis machine from the cafeteria and pick up your finished gel after lunch. You could even book microscope time while in the tissue culture room. After all, iPhones work with nitrile gloves.


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Richard P. Grant October 2, 2009 - 9:25 PM

Didn’t I show you how to take screenshots on your iPose?

Eva Amsen October 2, 2009 - 9:32 PM

Probably, maybe? There *is* a screenshot on my iPod from that week, but it’s from the day I arrived, so I was probably asleep when you showed me. I’d been wondering how that got on my phone.

Eva Amsen October 2, 2009 - 9:34 PM

OH! I figured out how to do it just now. It’s kind of intuitive when you can’t use the screen. Not that many buttons left… Oh well. Next time.

Alyssa Gilbert October 4, 2009 - 12:36 AM

Very cool! Must get me one of those!

Richard P. Grant October 4, 2009 - 6:35 PM

_Bata_ Shoe Museum. Damn.
There was me thinking it was a pre-release version.

Eva Amsen October 4, 2009 - 6:56 PM

Haha =)
And it’s actually a much cooler museum than it looks. Anthropology with a footwear angle, rather than fashion.

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