2005: "RSS reader".
RSS was the archetype of what is now broadly known as "feeds". WiFi was JUST starting to appear in laptops as standard. The idea was an internet connected device so you could always be up to date with the latest news. I put alot of thought into how you may hold it and navigate (scrollwheel, page-flip on both sides similar to kindle, table landscape mode etc)
Naysayers: "the battery will never last long enough, you would have to charge it like once a day!" "When you have Wifi you probably have access to a computer anyway, like at your office or library"
2007: iPhone, Kindle
2010: iPadhttp://www.coroflot.com/nglv/rss_reader2007: "Travel companion"
This was done just after iPhone 1 was announced, but before it was released. Idea was to have a connected and intuitive navigation device, combined with storage for your photos you would take with your camera. The device would log your route, and by syncing time-stamps could easily place all your photos on right location.
Naysayers: "everyone carrying this device will get mugged" "how is this better than regular map?" "When I take photos I remember where they were taken by LOOKING at them - duuh - noone will need this gimmicky map feature"
2010: iPad. Photo location adapted in various ways by just about everyone.http://www.coroflot.com/nglv/Traveller- ... -companion
Of course there were flaws in my predictions, but still nice to see I was on to something. I WAS lucky enough to get some internet traction out of it (Engadged picked up the travel thingy) which got me invited to some interviews. My advice to students is: get your work noticed. Don't be protective of your ideas. You likely don't have the means to develop it anyway, so make the best of it. Best case scenario, you'll at least be part of it.
I have a number of professional projects that turned out this way as well, which I of course can't reveal because that could reveal business strategy, and might do more harm than revealing a sketch. Most times the ideas weren't shot down because they were thought to be "bad ideas", but because it wasn't the right time to focus resources on it. Again, I mostly find it rewarding to see someone else develop it, which reassures me of trusting my instincts.
Maan.. I want to do school projects again, those were way more interesting