This article spurred me in a completely unexpected technical direction over the winter break: Massive Christmas iPod Touch Sales Boost App Store Downloads. Two facts struck me:

My dream? To make a $5 keychain sold at the checkout stand in Wal-Mart which just plays gag sound effects. The keychain's user interface is dead simple: three buttons, each of which plays a sound. It may sound ridiculous but I do this all the time in real life. I tell a joke and make a rimshot noise. Or I tell a joke, it bombs and I make the sound of crickets. A keychain is something you always have in your pocket, ready at a moment's notice (at least the fellas do, sorry ladies!).

The hard part about this is finding someone to design, build and stock a keychain in tens of thousands of units. The investment needed could easily go into tens of thousands of dollars. What I realized is that cell phones are just as easily accessible and the iPhone makes this possible to do all in software. It's not quite the perfect solution but the advantages for me far outweigh the drawbacks.

zinger_ui

Thus, I built Zinger, my own take on the perfect comedy assistant. The UI is as fast and simple as possible. You touch the icon, it presents you with three big buttons; you really cannot get any simpler. And simplicity is what you are buying here: the more buttons you have to push to get to the sound effect, the less useful the app is in general, and when you are looking for a zany sound effect, timing is everything.

It may not outsell iFart but I hope it makes people laugh just as much. Enjoy!

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