This past week, I decided to replace a light switch in my study that had burned out awhile ago. Having never done this before (and of course, being completely unconcerned about my personal well-being…) I decided to give it a try. What’s the worse that can happen, I thought?? So, with new switch in hand and the power turned off, I unscrewed the switch plate and discovered this…yikes. That’s what you get with an old house. Old scary wires.
My first thought was oh, crap, who can I call to ask what I should do with these frayed wires? Fortunately for us, we do have friends and family who can come to our rescue on short notice with questions like this. However, if you are not that lucky and need to make a switch change, what would you do? Well, there is a brand new app called Fountain that was unveiled last night at the 2015 Launch Festival in San Francisco that may just have your answer!
The brainchild of Aaron Patzer, the same innovator who created Mint.com, Fountain is a new app that is designed to give regular homeowners who are searching for answers some expert assistance in a moment’s notice. You simply download the free app from the Apple store to your iPhone (Android is in the works : )
When you have a question, you call up the app and either type in or voice text your dilemma, whether it’s how to plant a garden or repairing a hole in your wall or replacing a burned out light switch. The home and garden categories cover a wide array of topics, including painting, plumbing, furnishings, space planning, real estate, with experts at the ready in their chosen field.
Once you ask the question, the app first attempts to obtain as much info from you so it can accurately pinpoint the exact information requested. It then finds the proper expert(s) in the database to answer and immediately pushes a notification to them.
Once the app is happy with the question, it will connect you with the chosen expert and the chat process begins. On this app, there is a “face-time” type component so that you are actually discussing your issue face to face with someone in the know while they talk you through your home improvement issue. You can even take them shopping with you…asking real time questions about the products or brands you need to purchase for your project while your in the store.
During the chat, the other option is to share and compare still photos while you are in the middle of the video discussion. So the pics are sent back and forth between the homeowner and the expert, which makes the process unlike any other “help” forum presently available online.
Once you have your answers for your project and your call is completed, you are left with a “recent history” where you can go back and review the information, with texts and photos provided. And so, with that, I am excited to announce that I am one of the Fountain “experts” in the DIY and Home Decor categories! We have been in beta testing for months, and it was so exciting to finally see the app launched in front of a national audience last night!
For more questions, you can tweet to @askFountain or download the app and give it a try…and perhaps I will be the lucky expert to help you out!! Have an “app”solutely fabulous Tuesday, everyone! Susan
ps: In case you were worried, I did indeed replace the light switch without any issues…for once : )