Today, we discovered an app on Springwise called "Wisher," which allows users to identify desired gift items for their friends and family (via the app).
The app even incorporates iBeacon (BLE) technology, so that the app can notify users when friends/family's gift items are nearby.
I like the idea, but I don’t see myself using it. This will appeal to people who have time to put together and curate their wish list. Busy professionals will not engage here, but I could see children using this as an automated parent-reminder tool. I also see families having fun with this app during holidays.
The drawback to Wisher is the time and energy required to make it work. I could see it being fun for families during the holidays, though.
As with any new app, the drawback to Wisher is the time and energy required to input data in order to make it work. Privacy is an even bigger obstacle. It's hard to get already overstimulated people to enable beacon discovery on their smartphone. Having said that, children will happily optimize their parents' phones to make sure Wisher is working for them.
Like I said though, this app has novelty for the holiday season. It’s nice to see new technologies being used to improve on traditions and I believe this or a similar app will be successful during the holidays.
But to have staying power, Wisher needs to do more. For example, the app could add birthday/anniversary reminders coupled with a survey of the gift recipient, with recommended gifts to choose from. Once selected, the gifts are added to the wish list, and Wisher can work its magic. This could diminish the surprise element of gifting but would make life easier for the gift buyer.