Ever wish you could send yourself a text to boost your confidence before a big test? Or congratulate yourself for all your hard work the morning of graduation? Or maybe you’d even like to send a hilarious picture of yourself partying on your 21st birthday... on your 30th birthday?
Thanks to a new (and free!) app called Incubate: The Time-Delay Messenger, you can send texts, photos, videos and voicemails up to 25 years into the future. As the company jokes: "Sorry fellas, you no longer have an excuse not to be the first person to wish your girlfriend a happy birthday."
Incubate founder Michael McCluney was inspired to create the app by the basic time capsule. Originally, he pitched the idea of a digital version to colleagues at Google and Facebook, and with their encouragement, he began to design the app that launched this month.
The fundamental concept of the app is quite simple: a user can create and receive any number of messages to be sent in the future, but until their delivery, they remain locked, or "incubating." The company describes it to CNN as an "untapped memory bank waiting to be discovered."
Plus, it is never too early to start building up an incubator of messages: the app contains a feature, the Incubate Nursery, that allows for, say, parents to build up messages for their kids before they have their own phones (or are born).
Incubate is an alternative to popular "instant gratification" social-networking services, like Snapchat, that often erase messages rather than saving them as memories for their users.
"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," McCluney said in a statement to PC Magazine. "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. The range and possibilities are really limitless—we can't wait to see how the world reacts."
While McCluney is hesitant to share the app’s total number of users, he says engagement has been strong. There are already two hashtags associated with the app, #Drinkubating (i.e., a humorous reminder to a friend of their drunken mistakes) and #Incubombing (i.e., when friends decide to send someone a message on the exact same time and day, thus overwhelming that person’s phone with texts, photos, etc.)