Pressure sensing pad for exercise to provide feedback. While working on some Yoga and stretching positions it's important to keep your lower back firmly planted against the wall or floor. For beginners an nice inexpensive device could be a pressure pad or tube that could be wrapped in a towel and placed under the back. When the device senses the loss of pressure, it beeps. Electronics could be very cheep, just an IC, a air pressure sensor, and a beeper. Could be made for $1-2 and retail for $10-15. First Steps: see if something like this exists. Make a simple prototype, advertise it to see if people are interested in it.
Drone radio relay for the backcountry. This is something that would be very useful for backcountry park rangers, electrical line repair workers, and basically anyone who needs to maintain radio communication while driving deep into the wilderness, especially when surrounded by mountains. The drone would have an onboard radio relay. It would listen on one channel and simultaneously relay the data on another channel. Because the drone can go 400 or more feet in the air, it would have a much better ability to transmit signal over mountains and uneven terrain. As a result communication using standard CB radios would be possible over significantly longer distances. I know this is a problem for park rangers in Joshua Tree national park, and for electrical line workers around the high desert area. First Steps: Even though it's possible to build a custom drone for the purpose, it's far more easier to just design the CB relay, and attach it to a DJI phantom. Make a prototype, show it to the local rangers, let them use it to gather feedback.
Random weekly tasks app for people who just can't make up their mind as to when they have to do things, or have a weekly meal plan, but don't want the pleasure of picking things they should eat every day. I live with one such person. So the idea is simple, you enter all the stuff you need to do during the week, stuff that doesn't have to be done on any specific day, just stuff that is to be done during the week. You press a button, and the program randomly places those items on the calendar for the next week. This can be done on monthly, and yearly basis as well. Best to make it work with iOS calendar or Google Calendar. First Steps: see if someone already made this, if not, make a web prototype that works with google calendar API.
Virtual geocaching app. So, this might already exist, but I haven't seen it. Basically it's an app that allows you to scan a QR code that you find placed on a rock or the ground in the wilderness, once scanned, the app makes sure that your GPS location matches the intended location of that QR code, and unlocks that location for you. You can upload pictures and notes to the data store for that location. Make the program free to use, and make money by selling stainless steal badges with laser etched QR codes on them. The badges can be attached to a spike, or glued with included fast setting epoxy to a rock. First Steps: check if this exists, promote the idea and gather feedback, make the app and find a badge manufacturer.
National Parks App with downloadable maps, guides, and GPS tags. It's surprising, but most of the national parks still rely on paper maps and handouts to dispense information. Partly it's because they don't have much of a budget to "modernize." Most of them basically have the same exact needs. They need an app that can show to visitor various informational documents, a GPS enabled map of the park, and perhaps a GPS sensitive media section that would allow visitors to hear or view videos about some of the points of interest. As a result, it would be easy to make one app, and than allow each national park to put together a data package for their park. The users can download the data package for a specific park before going there, so they have all the information offline (since connection in the park may be spotty or nonexistent). The program can be free for parks to use and for users to download, but would make money by promoting local businesses around the park. First Steps: selling to the government is tough, even if it's free, so figure out how to do so. See if this exists, make and sell it to them if not.
Brandable app for Youtubers. Branded ups created by YouTubers to serve their "premium" content is all the rage now. Unfortunately, most of the once that I have seen are terrible. It looks like most of them are once off creations that are badly designed and poorly implemented. The idea is to basically create a wordpress of youtube content. An app that allows you to theme it and change some of the settings, but at it's core it a well designed and engineered content delivery platform. You sell it as a service, where you allow people to design the look and feel of the app by uploading to your servers themes and the content. You post it in the app stores, and host all the content. You get paid for hosting, and the Youtuber can get back to making, promoting, and selling their branded content. First Steps: see if this exists, if not, talk to a few people who have apps right now out, and see what they think about this idea, and what they would like to see in the app.
A single app link shortening service that automatically directs you to the right app store based on the device you are using. Basically like http://bit.ly/ but when you create the short URL, you have an option to serve a different link based on weather the person clicking on the link is using a Mac, a PC, an iPhone, a Windows Phone (unlikely), or a Android phone. Based on the geographical location, it can even direct the user to various Android stores, or provide them with a selection screen. First Steps: see if this exists, and if so, why don't people use it more often. Also, figure out how to monetize it.
Automatic Kombucha farming machine. Ok, so I love Kombucha, but I hate growing it, and I hate paying for it as well. Hence, the machine. The machine would have a spot where you can place a 3-5 gallon jug of filtered water, and it would have 2 tanks. One two gallon tank for the scoby and another 2-4 gallon tank for the finished product. There would also be a "Kombucha food" silo which would contain mostly sugar and nutrients for the skoby. The whole thing can be designed with a stem punk like aesthetic, with lot's of decoratively moving parts, and could be sold for a lot of money to people who have a lot of said money or to restaurants. First Steps: make a prototype, post it on instagram, have people want to buy it, refuse to sell for a while to drive up the price.
Platform for walking tours. A smartphone app that allows anyone to create their own walking tours of literally anything. A city, a park, a museum, anything. The program allows the creator to upload a data pack with sound files, pictures or videos, and GPS locations. The program would play to the user the sound files in coordination to their current location. Features like progress tracking automatic playback speed adjustments, and additional sections of narration (for slow walkers) could be added. Basically, anyone can create a walking tour. It's an opportunity of knowledgeable and funny people to make more money, and for the rest of us to learn more about our surroundings. Tours could be paid, free, or sponsored by local businesses. First Steps: see if it exists, make an MVP with just sound, promote it.
Second opinion AI. Imaging misdiagnosis is the leading cause of malpractice lawsuits in United States. Design a service that allows patients or practitioners to upload imaging results that will be checked by AI that will render a second opinion on the results. The service could be inexpensive to use, and at first marketed "for entertainment purposes only." The business is in the collection of the biographical, medical, and imaging data for continuous AI training. Even in early stages it still might spot some problems that doctors may have missed, and prompt at least a second look by a doctor. First Steps: do more research about the legal feasibility of such a service at the moment. Do it, it's needed.