Simple, Uber, and HotelTonight are 3 of my favorite companies (and apps) that are clearly ahead of their time. I believe that each one is a perfect example of “how everything will be done” in our hyper-connected future. I’m excited for the day when everything will work as smoothly and friction-free as the experiences I’ve had with each of them.
I use the term “experiences” because that’s really what sets these companies apart from regular web pages, apps, and run of the mill tools that most other companies seem to be providing these days.
Simple is a bank / debit card / money management tool that’s meant as a replacement for your bank (though I still use Bank of America since I have a number of accounts there). If all I needed was a personal account, I would most likely go all in on Simple. The website and apps are clutter-free and an absolute pleasure to use.
The card arrives in hassle-free packaging that doubles as a minimal wallet which I love. I’ve been using the cardboard & rubber band combo for months now. The rubber started to disintegrate but Simple dispatched me a replacement yesterday, which should arrive shortly.
Hotel Tonight is hands down the best service for a last minute traveler. Just yesterday I booked our Miami Beach hotel using Hotel Tonight. Every day at noon the HotelTonight app (available for iPhone & Android) shows a list of discounted quality hotels for growing list of cities.
The rates are usually anywhere from good to fantastic. Last month I was able to get a last minute Hard Rock Hotel room in Las Vegas for a total of $28. The deals are even better if you have a Founders Card – you get $50 off your first booking and a 15% rebate on all future bookings (which really adds up).
Your credit card is always on file so every booking is super fast and easy. You just show up to the hotel.
Uber is an upscale car service that utilizes real-time GPS. It costs a bit more than a taxi but you get a really nice car (like a Mercedes or Escalade) and you get to see a map of where all the available drivers are. You schedule a pickup by adjusting your location on the map and order the service, which then gives you a running ETA and a map of a dispatched driver’s current location.
Your credit card is on already on file (just like Hotel Tonight) so you never have to deal with payment or tip – it’s already calculated. All you do is get out of the car & quickly rate your driver and experience on a 1-5 star scale.
All 3 of these services are obviously hyper-focused on providing the best experience for their users utilizing the best of what current technology can actually offer – in innovative & envelope-pushing ways that give us an exciting glimpse of the types of experiences we can expect in our future.
They’re not just trying to strap on a new web site or web app as an afterthought. They’re quite literally inventing the future by showing us what UX is capable of as it lets us interact with the world around us.
Max Spiker is the founder of DMAD and has been developing for the web for over 10 years. He is passionate about design, Wordpress, travel, iPhone apps, online marketing, and lifehacking. +Max Spiker is currently into studying rationality and decision making and creating fun online projects. Note: Some links on this site are monetized by affiliate programs - see disclosure for more details.