I was reflecting on Siri over the week-end after reading the headlines in the European press "No iPhone 5 Apple missed the 4G revolution" - who really cares about hardware anymore ? That's so 1990s. Siri is revolutionary. See, we have in our bodies 2 awesome user interfaces: our hands, and our voice. Apple nailed the finger input, and they are about to do the same with voice interfacing - now obvious on iPhone 4S, further thinking about the digital home and the TV, which has the same user interface since the 1950 and my thoughts are ... bye bye remote .... finally .......
(reproduced from Forbes.com)
Siri: Apple's Key for Future Growth in Your iHome
Your desk is to a keyboard as your pocket is to a touchscreen as your home is to…
One of Steve Jobs’ greatest strengths was realizing what form factors work best for various new devices. The original iMac and its successors showed that the traditional computer tower is extraneous for most consumers. The MacBook Air is the most successful laptop sold today because it focuses on a lightweight body and great battery life above all else. The iPod’s legendary click wheel bested its rivals by leaps and bounds, and the touchscreen iPhone and iPad lines took handheld and pocket devices to a whole new level.
Jobs and the rest of Apple concentrated on finding the perfect form factor for those hit products, and so far they’ve succeeded on the first try… with one exception: the Apple TV. Apple’s “hobby” $99 living room set-top box has been successful, but not of the runaway variety that has become almost commonplace for the company. Why not? Because it hasn’t found a successful form factor that differentiates it from regular cable boxes.
When asked about the television space in 2008, Jobs said, “I don’t think anybody has succeeded at it and actually the experimentation has slowed down.”
But Apple itself hasn’t done much experimenting in radically changing its TV platform. Until now, I expect.
This week’s iOS 5 release brings with it the much-hyped Siri voice recognition and personal assistant software. Siri can understand and respond to normal human language, accessing many of your phone’s capabilities without your fingers ever swiping across the screen. It can text your friends, find a restaurant, give you reminders, and more.
Voice. That’s the missing link in technology for the living room and the rest of the house. People hate adding remote controls to their increasingly cluttered television set ups. And they don’t have free hands for keyboards or touchscreens in the kitchen. That’s where Siri comes in. If Apple can leverage Siri for use in its Apple TV, that’s a game changer in the set-top box space. Suddenly the device becomes both more functional and infinitely cooler.
And there’s no reason to stop in the living room. Media and organization devices in the kitchen or the bedroom are ripe for innovation. A voice-activated wireless router that controls other major appliances in your house would be intriguing.
Jobs talked for years about making Apple the center of your digital life. iCloud will be the back-end, but devices on your desktop, in your pocket, and throughout your home are the front-facing aspect of that relationship. Where lightweight builds and touchscreens were the perfect form factors for the MacBook and iPhone respectively, voice will undoubtedly guide Apple’s vision for a future where everyone’s house becomes an iHome.
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