Play a game with me for a moment: It’s a Friday afternoon. You’ve got the day off from work, and you have a few errands to run. You’d like to make it to the DMV and renew your registration, but you don’t want to end up waiting for two hours and waste half of your day. What if there was a way to see how long you’ll be waiting there before you even leave the house?
Another quick scenario: It’s later that night, you have a dinner date with your spouse, partner, or significant other. You’ve been dying to try this new place in the city – which doesn’t take reservations – but it’s a bit of a drive, and you’d like to have an idea of the wait time before you go all the way out there. Imagine being able to check the wait and make a decision before leaving the house.
Enter Waitbot, an app that aims to provide real-time wait estimates for any (and every) line in the world. From theme parks and banks, to the DMV and Department stores, to emergency rooms and restaurants, Waitbot is the future solution to a problem of past and present.
The app’s developers plan to collect crowdsourced data from multiple sources, including social network updates, GPS positions and reports, and partner businesses. The app will have an algorithm that sorts this data, examines it, then calculates a wait time for the user. That way, you can decide if the DMV or restaurant is worth it without ever leaving the house. After Waitbot is up and running for a while, historical data will be tracked and added to the algorithm as well.
The app, while made chiefly for consumers, will also benefit businesses by allowing for transparency and effective customer communication.
Although Waitbot is still in development, the app’s creators have decided to release it first in Chicago, and when they’re ready, they have a pretty fun launch idea. They’re going to attend the craziest events in Chicago, with the longest, most dreadful lines, and have a guy in a robot costume promoting the app. By approaching people in their most aggravated state, they’re hoping this will generate the interest they need to get the initial word out about Waitbot.
Now that’s innovation in queueing.