Iris is the idea that got Empirical funded. The core concept was to take traditional email and "upgrade" each message into a type that was smarter. A confirmation email for a flight would look like a plane ticket with new actions like "Check-in" and "Flight status." Tracking emails would strip out all of the extraneous information and just show the current status and the item that was being shipped, as well as contact information for the carrier. Bills would allow for direct payment or autopayment and would look like a bill. All email would be sorted and "cleaned" to strip away unwanted excess information and create a dashboard of only the important stuff.
Glimpses of this idea have been implemented in Google's Inbox and Now, but we have yet to see this idea executed as we envisioned it. We built much of this concept, but underestimated the difficulty of the project just to attain parity with traditional email.
The idea was scrapped when our projected timeline extended beyond reason and it became clear that creating a new email client not the right direction to push primarily because we didn't have enough email data to mine / engineering resources.
This led us to Comma, our next application.