Photo: Margarita Young/Shutterstock

Sign Shaker: Photo-Based Magic 8 Ball IPhone App

Technology + Gear
by Michelle Schusterman Aug 13, 2010
Associate Editor Michelle Schusterman reviews the Sign Shaker app for iPhones.

The Magic 8 Ball – one of the most consistently loved toys of my childhood. The toy to turn to when life’s most important decisions had to be made, most vital questions answered, most exciting crush identities revealed.

To be honest, when I first learned about the iPhone’s “shake” feature, the Magic 8 possibilities were some of the first game ideas that came to mind. Sign Shaker, an app designed by Doug Lansky, puts a slightly different twist on the old concept.

There’s no “Yes, Definitely!” or “Don’t Count On It”‘s here. Instead, your answer comes as…a sign. Not one from the heavens – I mean, like a road sign. Or a bathroom sign. Or any one of the randomly generated signs from Signspotting.

It’s a fun concept, although of course, the answers often make no sense, mostly because our instinct is to ask “Yes” or “No” questions. Asking if I would have fun at the concert I’m going to tonight and getting a road sign for “Promised Land” with a “CLOSED” banner taped across it was somewhat disconcerting. (The one that said “Don’t Pass Urine,” however, was clear – avoid the club’s bathroom tonight. Done.)

As far as design, the app is easy to use. Open, think of a question, and shake. The app says “Thinking” while you shake, then produces a picture, with the option to try again.

Some of the photos are really hilarious – my favorite so far being “If the Door Does Not Open, Do Not Enter.” Worth the $0.99? Sure, if the kid in you wants to relive those Magic 8 days.

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