In what programmers far and wide are hailing as a revolutionary milestone for smartphone technology, a Palo Alto start-up has developed a new app that does all the thinking for its user.
"The app practically made itself," said Paul Haig, vice president for product development at local software developer eBrain. "No, really. Once we got the ball rolling, the app told us, in so many words, to go lounge while it ironed out all the kinks."
Haig said the company built the app, called iThink, to help users wrestle with life's "myriad decisions, both big and small." Users simply answer a series of a few questions about themselves, then iThink's sophisticated algorithm technology computes how the user should think from there on out.
For instance, the app tells them how to feel about the latest movies, establishes their positions on world conflicts, and instructs them on when to tell a noble lie about their spouses' newest outfits. It tells them what basketball teams to root for and even advises them when to get angry about a referee decision.
Currently smartphone and tablet users can choose to receive regular email or text notifications when iThink tells them how they should think about developing matters. Haig said eBrain plans to develop a new version of the app that will silently upload commands directly into the users' brains whenever it generates new opinions.
"At first I was really hesitant to use such an app," said Midtown resident Val Lambert, one of the first residents to download the app. "You know -- I was worried whether it would lead me to the wrong decisions and would take away my free will and all of that.
"But then I just gave it a try, and it's been so wonderful for my time management and peace of mind," she added, after consulting her phone. "I don't have to worry about keeping up with world news or reading about what's good or bad for the environment or figure out what music I should like, even what to tell my kids. The iThink does all of that for me, and it's given me so much freedom not having to think anymore."
Borg Landau, co-founder of eBrain, said the idea for iThink came to him two years ago, while he was browsing Netflix's popular on-demand service and trying to determine what movie to watch. After six hours of browsing, he gave up in frustration and set out to create a program that would make these types of difficult decisions for him.
"This app really changed my life by freeing up my brain for things that really don't require it," Landau said. "It tells me when to call in sick to work, which boxers I should wear around the house and how I should feel about all the stuff in the Middle-East.
"Oops. Gotta go," he said, after looking at his phone. "Looks like I'm hungry."
(Editor's note: Happy April Fools' Day!)