People-based reminders

There is a place that sells ice cream in Berlin, a family run business, called Eis Hennig. Their business is going so well, they haven’t updated their website in roughly eight years, it seems. They don’t even need any of the images on their website to work. It doesn’t matter. They got better things to do: making and selling ice cream, assembly-line style. I am not kidding. There is always a queue.


At Eis Hennig, you don’t buy ice cream by the spoon, you can choose a container size and they fill that up with ice cream, layering the selected varieties on top of each other. Here, pick a size.


The reason why I am telling this is context. This is not a sponsored post. Bear with me.

Last weekend I went and had the 2.50 € container. One minute into enjoying my ice cream, I thought: “This is too much ice cream.” So I took to my portable super computer and set a location-based reminder:

When I will return here the next time, in fact already when I’m approaching the place (geo-fencing), I will be reminded to make a better choice, for a more appropriate quantity of ice cream. I even worded it in a very encouraging way for my future-self:

“Be smart: Pick the 1.90 € size”.


I am not sure whether using technology this way is dumb, genius, nerdy, or all of the above simultaneously.

I then thought, how much longer until we are going to have people-based reminders? Yes, I know, privacy and stuff, but it could work similar to how location-sharing is possible with the user’s consent and also limited to the selected people she wants to share this information with.

With people-based reminders, you could not only remember other people’s names, e.g. at networking events, but potentially also their hobbies, last topics you talked about, that kind of stuff.

And while this may sound a bit weird, how practical would it be to set a reminder such as this one:

Remind me to “Ask dad about the private liability insurance”

And tie it to conditions such as:

Connecting certain things (tasks, questions, topics, information, etc.) to when we interact with certain, particular people would be so handy. I can think of many applications.


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