Facebook PixelLock screen app that displays photos of loved ones you haven't spoken to in a while
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Lock screen app that displays photos of loved ones you haven't spoken to in a while

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Dec 30, 2021
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The longer you haven't been in touch with a loved one, the more often their photos appear on your phone's lock screen. Under their photos are text and call buttons.
Why?
  • Away from sight, away from mind. Even when we aren't busy, we are bombarded with addictive distractions. Everything competes for our attention. This pushes people and activities that we once liked further away from our minds until we eventually lose touch with them.
  • The only apps that should ever be allowed to interfere with our attention are the ones that help us direct it where it matters the most.
How it works
An app keeps track of the last time you've been in touch with the people you designate as loved ones.
You upload your favorite photos and videos of each person into the app.
The longer you go without texting or speaking to the person, the more often their photo appears on your phone's lock screen. Below their photo are the text and call buttons.
It would be great if the app could also keep track of direct messages within social media platforms and chat apps like viber, whatsapp, etc.
You can configure a maximum time interval for each person in your list of loved ones. If you go over the interval without being in touch, the app becomes increasingly more persistent until you do something about it.
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Creative contributions

The app could automatically select people from your contacts

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Povilas S
Povilas S Dec 30, 2021
Great idea! As I understand, you suggest that the user would choose certain close people for the app to "manage" communication with? What if the app did this on its own by simply tracking your communication level with various contacts?
Obviously, those people that you communicate most often with are those closest to you at this period of your life. So the app could "bug" you to reach out to them once there has been no communication with a certain close contact for a while.
But what's perhaps even more important is that this way the app could identify long-lost connections and try to retrieve them. It would scan your old chats and identify once quality connections that were lost and from time to time display pictures of old friends/acquaintances that you lost touch with and suggest to reach out to them.
I think the latter is at least as important as keeping vital communication with those closest to you at the moment. An app could keep the balance by presenting you a rotating "mix" of your currently active and once lost, passive contacts to reach out to on different days and also those in between the two categories.
Unexpectedly seeing a picture of an old friend on your phone's screen would cheer you up. I'm just not sure how the app would get proper pictures to display, it could either enlarge those existing as profile pictures in chat apps or download some from social media sites, but the latter might cause some privacy/copyright issues if the app was doing this automatically. However, the ability of such an app to silently manage pictures of your contacts in the background is necessary to keep the surprise element.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica year ago
It depends on when you install the app and how much has been missed by it. The automatic detection of loved ones could be tricky/complex. For the initial version, it would be much easier if you manually define people that you are close with
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa year ago
Darko Savic Old chats usually stay even if you get a new phone, etc., unless you ditch using some program altogether and turn to a new one, but chats stay on particular social media messenger and can be assessed at any time, so the app could dig the old chats and thus learn about the types of your relationships.
It might not be easy for the algorithm to distinguish quality relationships from other types just by scanning the chats, but I think it can be done. Another issue with this is privacy concerns, people might not want the app accessing all their chats and potentially leaking some info somewhere.
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Interval configuration for anyone in your phonebook

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Dec 30, 2021
It doesn't have to be limited to close friends. You could configure the app to bring up even more distant friends once in a while. They would just have a longer interval before the app starts suggesting you get in touch with them
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Spread gratitude with them

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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković Sep 20, 2022
According to the studies Andrew Huberman cites, the most powerful form of gratitude practice is not when you express gratitude, but rather when you receive it. So maybe put a reminder in the notification to think of something you're grateful about the person you're talking to. And then tell it to them. Share positive emotions.
So have prompts next to the photo "What do you like most about X?" or "What's the best characteristic of X?" on the screen. It will also put you in a good mood for the conversation and most likely ensure that you will reach out to them more.
This addition can start a short vibration during the phone call when the app senses a long pause in the conversation, or after an X time mark as a reminder to express gratitude to the other person. Not to do it right away to seem like the call was just about that.
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Business variation

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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković Dec 30, 2021
This could work for business too, especially sales people and entrepreneurs so that they remind themselves to keep in touch with important clients. If you get the photos of your contacts online, it would also be good to match faces with names for possible future in-person meet ups at conferences and such.
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Text prompts or personalized messages

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Darryl Koh Yuan Jie
Darryl Koh Yuan Jie Dec 31, 2021
There can be an option in the app where you can set a personalized message for any of your loved ones. This messaged will be sent as an automatic message when you press the message function under the photo(as what you mentioned). The message does not have to be too specific, can be rather general(Eg, Hey Thomas, we have not spoke for awhile, I was wondering how you are doing!)
Thus, for those who are really busy, they can send this prompt and wait for the other party to reply or alternatively add on to the prompt when they are more free.
These prompts can appear more frequently when the app becomes more persistent in reminding the user.
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa year ago
This kind of removes the whole point of the idea. While automatic drafts are convenient for quick sending and therefore don't consume your time, when it comes to relationships it's a bad idea if you want true connection with the person. It's like sending the same Holiday card to a particular relative each year. I think it's way better to invest some time to truly think about what to write and write something honest instead.
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Darryl Koh Yuan Jie
Darryl Koh Yuan Jiea year ago
Povilas S That is true, I guess it comes down to how many of us are willing to invest the time then. Personally, I feel if you need an app to prompt you, it is kind of a sign that perhaps they do not matter that much to you unfortunately. Thus, I was thinking of a way to make it more convienient for one to communicate with their loved ones.
Perhaps instead of a fully automatic text message, a pop up message will come on that says something along the lines of, "You have not talked to so and so for 25 days, would you like to send a message?" This will then allow the person to draft the message instead. When notifications pop up on our screen, we are compelled to take action(to remove it) as compared to the user making the the move to text someone via the message button.
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Use the existing software/apps with small modifications

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola Nov 23, 2022
Introduction
Recently I was into creating a giant spreadsheet of all people I've met, their personal details and track records of all our contacts/meetings (live, video chat or messages). I dug deep and found that there is a whole industry around this called Customer Relationship Management (CRM), which becomes especially handy if you are into sales, human resources or customer relations. Although it started as business software, some of the latest releases highlighted its value as a personal CRM tool. You can check the lists of the software here.
A personal CRM app/software is a set of tools that include:
  • a detailed address book - contacts could be manually added or imported from social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc), Google Contacts, iContacts, Gmail, or by scanning business cards
  • contact track records - keeping track of all your contacts/meetings with people
  • network circle manager - tagging, geotagging, categorization, note-taking (even using voice)
  • data visualization
  • communication platform
  • calendar, day planner - integration with Google Calendar
  • reminders - important events and appointments, when you have a new update in your network, when you should get in touch with someone (different frequency reminders; Garden App)
  • personalized gifting recommendations (Nouri)
How can this help you?
If you decide to use one of the above-mentioned personal CRM apps, you could already have one part of the desired idea ready for you - getting reminded of people you haven't contacted for a long time. The app already tracks your social media activity (along with a profile photo), updates the contact records, calculates how often do you communicate with people and sets reminders to contact people after you haven't contacted them for specified time. The only thing you need is to upload your favourite photo of that person as its profile photo.
An additional feature could be to
  • upload more photos so that the photo used as a reminder is different every time
  • allow access to your gallery or social media account with tagged photos so that the app can choose the old photo for the reminder
What do you think? Could this serve the purpose or there is a downside I did not mention?
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General comments

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 months ago
The app will prompt you when you are on social media or playing a game, which is indicative of you being free at that time to call your loved one.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarnia year ago
Great idea! Instead of uploading photos, videos for each of your contacts, the app could borrow them from the apps like Facebook and Whatsapp. The default could be borrowing photos from other apps. Alternatively, you may also set a picture or video of your interest for some contacts as and when you have the time to select.
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