SAN FRANCISCO—The perennial problem of poor punctuality has been solved, says San Francisco startup SynchroPal, billed as the “cure for lateness”.
“Our arrival times at social appointments varies, depending on factors including our cultural background and sense of self-worth,” says its research director James Kravitz.
The company’s eponymous app hopes to allow users with different arrival times to arrange meetings “seamlessly”, with each recipient seeing an appointment time tailored to them.
Friends who typically arrive 20 minutes late will see a time 20 minute earlier than those who arrive on time. Adjustments are made the other way for those who turn up early.
“An inability to make appointments on time can cause distress both to the one who is late and to those who must wait for them,” says Kravitz. The company estimates punctuality failures cost $23.7bn a year.
The medical and academic community disagree on whether the well-known phenomenon should be given the status of medical condition, tentatively called “dyschronia”.
“The traditional view is that people who are constantly late are inconsiderate or selfish, while others say they are simply unwell. Synchropal get around that whole thing,” says Kravitz.
The SynchroPal app is downloadable free from the Google Play and Apple Store, with users charged a micro payment for each synchronous meetup.
“We need to build up trust in the new system and to allow people to use it without thinking about it,” says Kravitz. “They will then find their lives run much more smoothly.” ■