Saturday, October 25, 2014

Guest validate app idea

Started wondering to myself about how you might use smartphones to validate guests, and came up with an idea. And it's a free and open source idea.

The way this app idea would work is with it on your smartphone, and on the smartphones of all your friends or guests or whatever. It could be a free app, which only charges you if you use it for a wedding or a party or whatever your social event is.

So with this, um, let's call it Guest Validator app, you could send invites to a list of people, where I guess they would be contacts on your phone. They'd get the invite telling them the time and place of the event.

When they arrived at the event, they'd push a button on the app, like a button on the screen, and it'd show a randomly created color coded "ticket", which would be unique to that event. And would not show until they arrived either by time, or location or both, where the Guest Validator would check the web for the time or GPS for location, to keep people from doing sketchy things like changing the time on their phone.

Of course it could be any kind of image, including ones the host had taken. Like here's an opportunity to toss in a photo of mine:

So this unique ticket would show, to the surprise of the guest who wouldn't even know what it looked like until the event, and the host could just look at their own phone, which would show the same thing, and let the person in, and from then on, anyone valid would have the same ticket, for like five minutes.

For more security it could change every five minutes, until lock out, when it would lock to the last image.

Or the color could slowly shift minute by minute.

And for additional security, the image would only show for 2 to 5 seconds with each check. Quite long enough for most people to see what it is, and compare without it just sitting there.

(You can keep adding security layers depending on your level of paranoia.)

And yeah, security is what you'd be paying for if anyone ever implements this idea, as otherwise you could just email a photo to all your guests for them to show when they arrive. But what if they share that photo with someone you didn't invite?

If the host or anyone at the event wishes to check a guest they'd just ask them to show their smartphone and hit the button, and the app would show the image from when that guest arrived, validating them. But by then, everyone would have the full list of pictures so anyone at the party could validate anyone else, by matching their smartphone's image against the valid list of images.

(Oh yeah, need to make sure it's actually their smartphone of course, if you get suspicious.)

The host would also be able to see which guests are checked off in the full list of invitees.

And that's it.

I like it because it's visual. Also it allows anyone at the event to check guests, so it allows you to in a sense crowd-source to some extent. Say, people know whomever is near the door would app validate people who are just arriving.

It'd be really hard to counterfeit a "ticket", as images change for a while, and also it has the backup that based on the image you know roughly when a guest arrived.

And that's just a quick throw-out-there idea for me. I don't like investing too much time in these things. Have them a lot. So not worth it to think it out too much.

Oh yeah, I have no idea if such a thing already exists. Did a real quick search and didn't see anything which doesn't mean it's not out there, but at least I do try.

James Harris
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