Lapdesk with a built in high capacity lithium battery and a universal laptop adapter. I am actually going to CNC cut one of these for my own use with a set of lithium packs. Basically a lapdesk with 120-200Wh battery pack built in to power your laptop, and a few USB ports for charging phone and such. It's going to be on the heavy side, about 4-6lb. The idea is to use it when you want to sit outside or in the area where you don't really have power. It's not going to travel well because of the weight, but it would be perfect for working outdoors for a prolonged period of time. First Steps: make one for myself, I have all the parts, and post it on eBay to see if anyone else want's one.
Lithium battery powered car winch that could be operated remotely with a pass through rope design. Usually car winches are designed to be powered from the 12V vehicle battery, but that means you need to install it on the car, and wire it up. Though I live off road, and travel some really tough trails on regular basis, I don't have a winch because it's a waste of resources and an unnecessary weight on the front of the vehicle. However, a compact remote winching system would be really nice. The winch would be designed with 2 friction rollers connected to a gear reduction system, brushless motor, and a lithium battery pack. It would come with a high capacity kevlar blend rope that can handle >20,000lb load. Such ropes are still expensive, but are becoming more and more common, and are far nicer to use than the steel cable. The rope would be looped several times around the first roller, and then several more times around the second roller. The end of the rope would be pulled through the rig, so there is no need to have a large roller that coils up the rope. This is similar to marine winches. This keeps the size of the winch small, and allows you to use a much longer rope for better positioning. Since the winch is powered by it's own battery, it can be mounted remotely, not just on the car's bumper. This provides the user with flexibility. First Steps: make a prototype using a marine winch and test it out. Show it to some off road clubs to see what they think and see how much they would be willing to pay for it.
AirBNB like service for RV parking locations. A service that allows people to rent out empty land they might have for RV parking. When traveling with an RV, it's always tough to find a place to park for the night. Lot's of businesses, parking lots, and people in the country with extra land can rent out spots and make extra money. There are plenty of RV parks, but the RV park contingent is usually people who live their long term, not quite the atmosphere you are looking for when traveling. Also, it would be nice to have a simple app to book spots on, rather than having to go through all the registration stuff every time. RV parks can use the app as well to simplify check in and checkout process for those who are just passing through. First Steps: see if this exists, make it if not.
Lookback, an app that shows you sensitive information and takes a video of you while you are looking at the information. Ok, so this is clearly for the excessively paranoid, or it could be a fun snapchat like social network. You decide. But the idea is simple, when you receive a message, document, whatever, and open it, the front camera on your device uses facial recognition to recognize that you are you and shows you the message. However, while you are looking at the message, the app is monitoring you, recording a video of you looking at the message, and if it notices something funny, like you trying to take a snapshot of the message with another device, it hides it. I got this idea when I was reading a story about leaked Apple slide deck. I bet Apple would use this kind of program. First Steps: see if this exists, make a simple prototype for fun, think on how this can be monetized or made into an alternative to SnapChat.
Connect, an in person connection network and social media platform. Yet another social media platform with exclusivity twist. The idea is you can "friend" people ONLY by meeting them in person. When you meet people, you can start a new relationship by opening the app and hitting connect button. The app will generate a one time use QR code that can be scanned by the other person's phone. NFC can be also used when available. Basically the idea is to use this as a 21st century business card. You would be able to message people and do all the common social media stuff, but it's only for people you actually know in person. Monetize by offering in app features, needs more thought. First Step: make a very simple prototype with messaging, timeline, and about section.
Convention administration app. "Cons" are all the rage nowadays, and none of them are really perfectly organized. Make an app that allows a convention organizer to communicate with all the attendees, allows attendees to book lectures, see upcoming events, be reminded of events they were interested in, look at the map of the convention with real time updates, and see announcements. Free option for smaller conventions with small number of visitors (under 5k, let's say). Paid version for those who want to brand the app or have more than 5k attendees. Make money also by promoting local restaurants and businesses which are offering convention deals inside the app. First Steps: see if this exists, if not, map it out, find a partner, make an MVP, try selling it to a big con.
Dear Apple: You should add USB port to the Macbook chargers. Seriously, just do it. I have a MacBook, an iPad, and an iPhone, why do I have to travel with 2-3 chargers. MacBook pro charger can easily output 5V through an extra USB port on the side. First Step: send an angry hand written letter to a lower level employee at Apple, who knows, maybe someone will listen.
Flat pack houses. Modern architecture lends itself to lego like design. Make a company that designs and manufactures parts for metal, wood, and glass houses that can be assembled rather than built. The house can be designed to be bolted together by a few guys on site. The designs can have interchangeable sections, so parts of one design can be blended with parts of another design, again, like legos. This would allow planned community developers to make unique looking houses by simply modifying combinations of parts. The construction costs can be substantially lower because everything would be pre cut and drilled, and threaded from the factory. Like building Ikea furniture. This could also be great for those people who want to build their own home. First Steps: see if anything like this exists on a significant scale, talk to a few architects.
Spray on makeup booth. A booth that uses a 3D scanner to scan your face and make a perfect 3D model of your face. You can use an app to design the makeup look you want, with highlights contouring, and all that fancy stuff. Once done, the booth uses basically a ink jet printer like technology to pain your face. The robotic arm paint's your face and a real time laser face tracker makes sure to compensate for any head movements. First Steps: see if this exists, talk to women to see what they think (I don't know much about makeup).
Custom color makeup service. Ok as long as I am writing about stuff I know very little about, might as well pitch this as well. A service that allows you to select any shade of color on the planet and they custom make it for you into lipstick, rouge, whatever, and send it to you. Promote it by allowing Instagram celebrities and basically just about anyone to make their own custom colors and combinations, and sell those combinations with their own brand through a branded link to your site. They get a portion of the sales. First Steps: see if this exists, if not, make it.