These days there’s an Uber for everything…Well, almost, everything.
Too busy to walk your dog? Use Wag. Need your laundry washed, ironed and delivered to your door? There’s Purple Tie. Need a local doctor? Try Heal. Want a coffee from your favorite coffee shop across town that doesn’t actually deliver? Say hello to DoorDash.
Thanks to the worldwide success of companies such as Airbnb, Uber and Eventbrite, on-demand start-ups for pretty much any service that can be reserved or delivered are popping up every week and investment in such companies is flowing in (as much as $4.1 billion in 2014, according to last year’s reports).
Facebook’s M is one of the most recent additions to the on-demand landscape. Currently in development and on trial with select U.S. users, it’s a personal assistant that — like a cross between Siri and we-deliver-anything services like Magic — can make reservations, bookings and source the best local service.
Whether it will deliver a tailor to your door, sort your weed needs in under 15 minutes or deliver a cute bunch of kittens to your office, however, remains to be seen. In the meantime, there’s an app for all those things. Whether you need a chopper, a cop, a personal chef or a parking valet, we’ve got you covered*…
*Provided you live in a large city and usually in the U.S.
Charter A Private Jet
Uber is fine for traveling across the city, but for those times when you have to travel further afield, real pros go by private jet. Numerous on-demand chartered aircraft services have emerged this decade, at least two of which have been invested in by Jay Z (Blackjet and Jetsmarter).
While the service type varies with every company — some have their own fleet of aircraft, others use the “empty seats” concept where you fill a flight that would otherwise be empty on its return — Jetsmarter uses the most Uber-like model.
The app is essentially a booking service with access to thousands of global chartered flight companies who are looking to fill empty seats. Their annual fee is currently $8499, and for this you get free flights for a whole year. If you fly several times a month, this actually works out cheaper than regular flights.
You may never have to fly economy again…
Fly By Helicopter
Get to the chopper! Blade is an app that works by crowdsourcing/pooling helicopter flights to popular destinations from New York City, such as Miami, The Hamptons, The Bahamas, Nantucket and Cape Cod (which might give you some idea of their target market).
That said, when the helicopter is full, seats can be as low as $395 (less than half a standard charter helicopter flight). You can also pick your own U.S. destination and Blade will transfer you by chopper to their own Gulfstream IV private jet, for ultimate last minute ballin’ escape plans.
Bonus kudos points go to Blade for their staff uniform — stylish denim romper suits and white jumpsuits designed by Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon!
Captain Your Own Boat
With over 40,000 boats operating over 2,000 locations over 140 countries, Get My Boat is a much bigger operation than Uber (who currently operate out of 69 countries). That said, technically it’s more like Airbnb, allowing boat owners to list their watercraft for rent when they’re not using it. As a result the rental options are broader than the captain’s table, with vessels ranging right the way from small canoe to super yachts.
The moment there’s a pirate ship up for hire, we’re long gone…
Call The Cops
Strictly limited to inhabitants of New Orleans’ French Quarter, French Quarter Task Force (FQTF) is literally an Uber for cops: you see a crime or disturbance, report it using the app, and off-duty police officers roll up on cute looking four-wheelers.
Funded by local sanitation mogul-turned-Bruce Wayne Sidney Torres and the New Orleans tourist board, FQTF’s motto is “keep the good times rolling…And the bad guys rolling out.” So far, so good…For the French Quarter. Other New Orleans neighborhoods are yet to be convinced.
Rent A Drone
What could you possibly need an on-demand drone for? I think the better question is: what would you not want a drone for?
Need a group photo in a beautiful location and refuse to give in to a selfie stick? Considering a surf, but want to check the conditions ahead? Leaving your house unattended, but want to maintain remote surveillance? Maybe you just want to find out which neighbor’s dog keeps crapping on your lawn…
All these things are possible thanks to the rent-a-drone service offered by GoFor. If you need a parking spot, your drone can hover in an available place and reserve it for you. It can even hover above you and boost your internet range if you’re in a remote location. While Ubering a drone may seem ridiculous at first, the more you consider GoFor’s unique service, the more practical it becomes.
Currently available in five U.S. cities, GoFor is expected to roll out in more territories this year.
Get A Trim
NYC residents may never need to queue at a barber’s again. Shortcut brings a barber to your location any day of the week between 8 a.m. and midnight. Appointments can be made 30 minutes in advance and prices start at $65 (but can be lower if a few of you get a trim together). Bearded? Pruning is also available, but not wet shaves. Yet.
Not in NYC? Don’t worry; like so many on-demand services, the plan is to roll out in more cities as soon as there’s more demand.
Get A Better Fitting Wardrobe
We’ve all got a few guilty impulse buys that don’t quite fit, or need a little re-fixing over the years. Yet sourcing a good tailor often feels like more effort than just wearing those ill-fitting trousers with the belt pulled tight. Until now, that is.
zTailor allows U.S. fashion lovers to request a tailor to visit their house and finally make those alterations. The braindchild of U.S. department store Macy’s, zTailor is currently branching out across America. Make an appointment, conduct a complete wardrobe analysis, get measured, and in within a week they will return your freshly fitted garms.
From pleat removal to extra buttons, tailors can rescue clothes you’d never thought you’d wear again…All you have to do is make an appointment. A full price guide can be found on their website.
Drop And Give Someone 20
Vint allows you to choose your desired workout and location, and a personal trainer will come join you for a session as low as $10!
Sounds good, but it actually gets better: Vint has relationships with various gym chains, bootcamps and fitness centers, so you can use their facilities without paying the steep membership fees. Currently available in Stockholm, San Francisco, New York and LA.
Hire A Private Chef
On-demand food services have been around for a while, with companies like Try Caviar delivering food from haute cuisine restaurants and Munchery delivering high-end pre-cooked meals from their own kitchen.
Kitchen Surfing, however, takes it a whole new level by delivering an actual chef to your house.
Only available in Manhattan and Brooklyn (for now), each week has a set menu and the chef brings everything they need, including their own pans and burners (on the off chance your domestic culinary provisions game is somewhat lacking).
Dinner for two starts at $59, and the meals are designed for the chef to cook, serve and clear up within 30 minutes. Don’t worry, they won’t sit down to dinner with you.
Ditch Your Hold Luggage
Hands-free business travel for $9.99 a month? If you fly frequently for work, DUFL could be the on-demand labor-saving service for you.
It works like this: they send you a large suitcase to fill with your regular work clothes. You send it back and they dry clean, iron, store and record everything in an online inventory. Whenever you next travel, use the app to fill your virtual case and tell them your destination and dates. Then, voila, your luggage will be there waiting, unpacked, in the hotel room when you arrive. They’ll even collect it when you leave!
No waiting for the suitcase carousel, no lengthy check-ins, no cumbersome heavy lifting or annoying bag wheeling. Just pick up your hand luggage and go like a pro.
On-demand weed service Eaze started up in fall 2014 after raising $10 million in funding (an undisclosed sum of which came from longstanding sticky-icky-icky advocate Snoop Dogg), and since then the service has proven to be predictably popular. After all, if there’s one thing a stoner will always thank you for, it’s removing necessary effort.
The concept is simple (and maddening for those who don’t live in a country where medical marijuana laws are in place): sign up with proof of your medical marijuana documents, choose your bud/product, relay your coordinates, enjoy…Often within as little as 15 minutes of making the request.
Currently available in 80 U.S. cities, the only thing we need now is a service that will replace your papers when you realize you just lit up the last one…
Get The Perfect Park Job
A unique parking stress buster, all you have to do is advise Luxe on your destination and arrival time and a parking valet will be waiting there to pick up your car and take it to a secure parking lot. Let them know your departure time, and the car will be ready and waiting.
They can also meet you at another destination, clean your car or fill it with gas, eliminating those tasks from your life completely. Currently available in nine major U.S. cities, average prices are $5 per hour. Maybe hire yourself a drone to watch the car if it’s worth a lot of money, though…
Order A Box Full Of Baby Animals
“These cute kittens and puppies are ruining my day!” – said no one, ever. Even in the Highsnobiety world, we appreciate the restorative power of 15 minutes with a box full of puppies.
Uber’s occasional puppy and kitten deliveries are the stuff of on-demand legend. Perfect for parties or offices, and available during select weeks in 50 worldwide cities, Uber can deliver a selection of cute animals for 15-minute cuddle frenzies costing, approximately, $15 – 30. All proceeds go to local animal shelters and, in many cases, these cuties are up for adoption and rehoming. There really isn’t anything not to like here.
Find Your Dream Dog Lover
With “Tinderisation” now as rife as Uber-style services, we had to include a few dating apps in this list, and one of the more interesting we’ve come across recently is Tindog.
As the name suggests, Tindog works exactly like Tinder: set up a profile, upload an enticing pic (of your dog, not yourself) and a description of you and your four-legged friend’s activities, then start searching for possible matches in your area.
Depending on how well it goes, it could bring a whole new level to the term “dogging”.
Date A Clown
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand finally, if you’ve ever thought your love life just wasn’t quite creepy enough, we bring you an app-based dating service for professional clowns and clown fanciers. No, really.
There’s not much more we can really say about this one, but evidently that obscure market is big enough to warrant its own dedicated software. We can just picture the “about me” section: “Coco, 25, London. Loves getting out of small cars with lots of friends, squirting flowers and custard pies in the face. Swipe right and fill my really big shoes.”
Available in the U.S., UK, South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Because clown love is a global movement, apparently. Just beware if he brings you a “present” on the first date.
- Words: Dave Jenkins