A mobile app called Incubate: The Time-Delay Messenger became available today, and its core concept is, intriguingly, all about the future for now. But in several years, it will also be about the past.
It allows consumers to schedule messages (text, pictures, voice, video, etc.) for friends and family up to 25 years in advance, so grandparents can tee up congratulatory epistles for their grandchild, just in case they cannot be around for events like birthdays, bar/bat mitzvahs, graduations and other milestones. The theoretical grandchild in this case will also have to use the app to receive the message—such as a fun video for his or her 21st birthday—which makes Incubate interesting as a two-way communications app.
"You never know when a message is coming or who is sending it—you can only see how many are waiting for you, like an untapped memory bank waiting to be discovered years later," stated Constantine Panagiotatos, a rep for the startup.
More rudimentary use cases involve reminding people of upcoming events with a series of notifications. So it can basically work like a more dispatch-minded Facebook's events calendar—which simply pings alerts about birthday parties, concerts, film openings, etc.—though Incubate clearly has more futuristic and sentimental ideas in terms of how consumers will likely use its app.
"We believe strategically delivered messages to special moments in the future can be exponentially more meaningful than a message that disappears after a few seconds," said Michael McCluney, founder of the startup. "We've actually been blown away with the creative ways people have thought about using the app—some comical, but some that are extremely emotional."
McCluney and his team said they are already talking with brands that may want to advertise on the time-capsule-like mobile platform, which is also planned to work on smart watches (cue Back to the Future references) if their company can gain enough traction.
A few thousand folks have downloaded the IOS app today, Panagiotatos said, and the Atlanta-based player has garnered $300,000 in funding so far. The burning question is whether people who download the app will continue to use it for years to come—so they can actually receive some of the aforementioned kinds of blasts from the past.
At any rate, check out its fun, Mad Max-themed promotional video.