The other morning, I woke up with an idea for what could be a nifty tech toy: reminder tags. I'm thinking of them as sort of attention bookmarks for the real world. The general idea is that you temporarily attach a small attention-catching item to whatever you want to remind yourself to look at or do.
The idea as it originally came to me is that you have a flat white disc, maybe a couple inches across and 1/16" thick, that you can stick to things. It has a display on the non-sticky side that can show some kind of animation; for example, the one I was thinking of started with a black dot in the middle, and it rapidly zoomed/expanded into a circle; when the circle reached the rim of the disc, the animation started over with a dot. But it could just as easily be a glowy or blinky light, or a sound, or anything else attention-catching.
I don't know whether anyone but me would find these things useful. But if I had such items, I would use them for things like this:
- When I put laundry in the dryer, I could attach a reminder tag to the door of laundry room to remind myself, every time I walk past after the dryer is done, to take the laundry out and fold it. (I currently tend to leave the light on in the laundry room for this purpose, but that's not ideal in various ways.)
- Similarly, when I run the dishwasher, I could attach a reminder tag to remind me to put away the dishes when done.
- When there's an item that I want to be sure to remember to pack or to take with me when I leave the house, and for whatever reason I can't just pack it now or put it in front of the door, I could tag it.
- Lots of times, there are little tasks around the house that I know I have to do, but unless I explicitly write them down or say them to myself over and over, I easily forget about them. I could put a reminder tag on an important piece of papermail that I need to deal with soon, or on something I need to be sure to put away, or on a gift I need to remember to wrap and deliver.
It's kind of like a high-tech version of tying a string around your finger, except that it's attached to the specific item that you want to remember.
I could, of course, use sticky notes for this kind of thing. But part of the point (for me, anyway) would be for the reminder tags to be really eye-catching, to make them harder to miss and harder to ignore.
These lights are pretty close to one version of what I'm thinking of, but I'd like them to be much thinner, to not require three AAA batteries, and to be intended for repeatedly sticking and unsticking to things. And ideally to have a display rather than just LEDs.