As the world faced a pandemic this year, the majority of us turned to technology to adapt to a new set of rules. We saw video conferencing, food delivery, and online shopping platforms make their way into our daily lives, along with entertainment apps that helped us cope under unfamiliar circumstances. How many times did you find yourself saying, “There’s a mobile app for that.” this year? Those that came up with useful mobile app ideas to match our strange circumstances will be in an extremely lucrative position right now.
It’s been tough for many, but the unique problems brought about by the pandemic has also opened up a huge door for innovation. Mobile app ideas have simplified a lot of activities for us this year. With current limitations on mobility, we will surely continue to be on the lookout for solutions to our problems via the app stores.
Looking forward to 2021, there is still a great deal of opportunity to come up with a fantastic new app idea. We’ve come up with mobile app idea concepts that are relevant to today’s needs, ranging across different genres and usage.
Mobile App Ideas for you to Consider
1. Virtual Campuses
The need to isolate has changed school as we knew it. With students attending classes without face-to-face interaction, learning (and even teaching) may feel rigid at times.
Taking inspiration from worlds in role-playing games, virtual campuses would be an interesting reimagination of school. Modern institutions can take the lead by hiring animators and developers to build a virtual campus with features that can enable:
- Interaction among students and teachers
- Class lectures and presentations
- Participation in extracurricular activities
To take it a step further, gamified learning can be implemented in virtual campuses. Studies have shown that incorporating game mechanisms in the learning process positively impact learners’ motivation. Any mobile app ideas within this field are likely to get a lot of traction in 2021.
2. AR for eCommerce
Retailers with physical stores have been heavily impacted by the pandemic we experienced this year. Many retail operations had to temporarily stop for months, in particular those that dealt with products traditionally displayed in brick and mortar venues.
With this, thousands of small to medium businesses launched eCommerce stores to adapt. However, nothing has suitably solved the need to see and touch a product before making a purchase.
This presents an opportunity to further explore Augmented Reality (AR) in developing more interactive shopping experiences. An example of a powerful application of AR in shopping is IKEA Place, which allows customers to scan a room and design the space by placing IKEA’s products in the digital image of the room.
3. AI for Customer Support
Along with merchandising, rendering customer support is another business operation that needs to be reevaluated. Now that physically visiting stores and offices are discouraged, access to online customer support becomes more important than ever.
Not all businesses can afford to hire a dedicated support team to handle customer inquiries. Chatbots have been beneficial in managing this domain, but most cases are still best handled with a human touch.
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes more sophisticated, personal touch necessary in customer service may be substituted by smart apps. Similar to the direction Facebook’s Messenger app is heading, a mobile app providing AI that can be trained for customer support could be valuable to both businesses and individuals.
Mobile app ideas with AI were a sure thing prior the craziness of 2020. However, moving forward all app developers should be considering ways to implement a bit of machine learning into their software,
4. On-demand Consultation App
Lawyers, business advisors, and medical professionals have always operated in face-to-face settings due to the nature and sensitivity of discussions they have with clients. Like many businesses, theirs also had to adapt to the times this year.
In 2020, we relied on various on-demand service apps to cope with ‘the new normal’. While we can still ring professionals to seek advice, a mobile app for conveniently booking consultations could be of value to professionals and their clients. These days, you won’t find a shortage in the number of businesses and individuals that have been marketing on-demand services. Developing a directory of all these services, for example, could then be a ticket to innovation in the current environment.
6. Virtual Tours
Tourism in many countries has also taken a critical hit this year with the prohibition of flights and the implementation of border restrictions. With the need to recover from a 42% decrease in revenue, the travel and tourism industry could also turn to technology to stay afloat.
Virtual tours aren’t new, but there is a huge room for improvement for the ones currently available. In the past years, 360 photography has helped us vividly experience locations straight from a screen. With more powerful AR, VR, and 3D rendering technologies today, developing immersive virtual tours couldn’t be a far off idea.
An interesting take at applying technology to tourism would be a mobile app that allows users to download and experience virtual tours of selected spots. Ascape VR is trying to do this with their iOS app, only with 360 photography for now.
This year, we missed birthdays, weddings, and other milestone celebrations from having to stay apart. However, humans always find ways to connect, and we managed to still do that this year with social media and video calling apps.
There are a handful of on-demand service apps for food delivery, but what if we could instantly book gifts other than food? A mobile app substituting the need to visit multiple gift shops to find a suitable one could be a game-changer.
Also, any way in which we can look at mobile app ideas that allow for virtual gifts could be extremely well received in 2021.
8. Virtual Hangouts
Video calling apps have become upgraded this year, but there remains a huge market for solutions to feel connected to loved ones without actually being together. Young people have flocked to Discord to continue participating in game nights, and Spotify has released their Group Sessions feature to allow users to enjoy music together. With our ever-present need to connect, there’s surely a niche somewhere that’s waiting to be tapped.
As we welcome new times, along with it will be opportunities to solve new problems. The mobile app ideas we loved this year have one thing in common — great product & market fit. There is a multitude of ideas worth pursuing, but always keep relevance in mind to succeed.