This is an open letter to the future, so please do pay attention – especially since you’re so hard to predict. I appreciate your time.
The current state of technology is like an infant growing up and learning fine motor skills. It’s ready to play with others and grow beyond what we can imagine. The Apple Watch is a fantastic second step after the Apple iPhone’s introduction. The iPad was a logical next step, and that sweet update to the iMac by introducing 10Gbps connections between hardware and 5K retina screens and what not. It’s merging consumer with prosumer, and professionals. The interfaces are trying so hard to work together. It’s like a baby learning to grasp on something, as the first step to learning how to stack blocks and have it all make sense.
iOS, Android, OS X, it’s all cross-platform as it can be, and you can pair devices with your system, but that central system in your house-hold or at work is still the mothership. And I think the future is the complete turn-around of this. That Apple Watch is the central point, and that iMac at home is going to pair with it. I’ve thought about ISP turning into telecom providers, and telecom providers slowly turning into ISPs for a handful of years. But I think I can finally imagine their mutual benefit.
Just imagine, where all the existing technologies at a consumer affordable level, finally all working together. I mean, isn’t the future all about autonomous / automation / robotics / quantum technology / neuro-networks / virtual-reality / bio-interfaces, etc? I don’t know the future. But I can imagine enough to almost foresee their benefits and what we want.
There have been thoughts of mirrors that give you bio-data when you stand in front of it. We have the XBoX recognising who we are when we sit in front of a couch. And Apple has syncing between data (even over the air) pretty much down. We can store data (almost) unlimited with the big three (MicroSoft / Google / Apple). And there are promising demos at CES each year with big and super thin monitors and wireless charging. But here we are. The Apple Watch requires the iPhone, Google’s Glass requires that Android in your pocket. And companies like MicroSoft purchases Nokia and Google invests in autonomous cars. Is it me or are all the puzzle pieces right there on the table?
Lets give this imagination of mine a free run for a few minutes and bare with me as I put the pieces together and write out an example. So dear future, please take this under consideration?
The Apple Watch could be the stand alone device that is on me (it doesn’t require the Phone), and the systems around me pair with it, rather than it to those systems. Let it be the platform?
This means that if I want to work on a document that I can sit down and my systems are aware of who I am, and I can continue with existing documents, or a new one, right there. And it syncs in the background – instantly. Not just that, the table itself that I am on, let’s for fun call it the Apple Desk has the computer built-in. The only thing there is perhaps that mirror that is digital so it shows a beautiful painting – but upon sitting down becomes my screen. Or perhaps, some other form of a beautiful screen for easy-viewing to my interface where I work on documents or media. The table has a layer of force-touch in it, so wherever I start typing in front of that monitor I ‘feel’ the tactile-feedback against my fingers as if I am typing on a keyboard. Illumination will make it visual for me as well. No sketchy laser-keyboard projection with unnatural feelingless poor latency typing. The surface next to it understands it’s the touch interface like on a keyboard. So there’s the ‘mouse’. I can still put a traditional mouse on it of course. Next, my watch is near the table, inches, because I am leaning against it to type. As is that mouse, right on it. It is therefor charging, syncing, and what not. I don’t have a system, I don’t hear one. I don’t need to know if it is on or off, when I need it, it’s there, and it works, charging what’s nearby, giving me tactile-feedback when I use it. Imagine the table being a ‘tablet’ to draw in illustrator with: with force-touch like feedback? I can imagine it.
The monitor on the table is just a bigger interface to the data that’s stored in the cloud (securely) and any processing power is off-loaded to the net, or done by the integrated system in the Apple Desk. Again, it doesn’t have to do a lot, plus the Apple Watch handles all of that.
I can get up and pick up my tablet if I desire to still have one. It has the touch-id in the glass, and force-touch for that realistic feel when you scroll and press and what not. And since it’s paired with that Apple Watch, it’s synced, shows the device specific interface that gets me to the games, media, data that I need. The Apple Watch or the table can be the interface to digital media, the screen on the desk could be as big as we want if we want a movie experience, or at least we can have that Apple TV paired with the Watch so the iPad and what not knows where we are in what tv series or movie, and continue playing, or buy whatever. No need to authenticate, because touching the screen is enough, or a tap on the Watch is enough to confirm anything. It’s the ‘hub’ so to speak. Why login 500 times right?
Okay, I am pretty confusing what I mean, or perhaps I am just rehashing what I’ve already said. But the point is: Why not have a table that is the computer, with a surface that’s just like my current table, but with wireless charging, and force-touch feedback. And everything pairing to that one device you have with you all the time?
Apple can become that telecom provider, as a ‘feature’. I don’t need T-Mobile or alike. Any devices around me is part of a mesh network, routing calls and sending off data through Apple’s network. Other companies like an AT&T call will still end up on my devices. Let the telecom provider like AT&T just tell Apple what protocol is being used and handle the data together with Apple. It’s not the consumers problem, it never has been.
The iPhone isn’t needed. The iPad isn’t needed. The Internet isn’t needed. They’re just part of a platform to allow us to be mobile, get around, share data, and sync our personal data. The way we interface with them is done through all these devices, but we still end up with that main system at home or at the office. Why? I can use my tablet or the system at home to start and receive calls. I just need Apple as a telecom to understand it’s a landline trying to reach me from a non-apple-device. I don’t care if I pay Apple that subscription, or my current telecom provider.
Okay, I am not saying I want Apple for everything. I don’t want Apple to get hacked and lose my life. Or have them be down for a day and be disconnected as a life from the world (or not have access to what is mine (my digital media and documents). But, again, it’s just an example of ‘why not like this?’
The details by the way are not important. I think it’s important to have things without latency, and with a natural experience. I don’t want to stare at a fuzzy screen because holo-displays ‘are the new cool’, or a fake keyboard on a table that I can’t see. What I want is what everybody wants: Convenience. It’s not my problem that I have a picture taken with my device and want to sit behind a desk to view the details in full behind a desk, and then say ‘give me a 3d print of this’. It’s not my problem that this is 50 different companies doing the same thing in 7 ways. It’s their problem to get this all as a convenience so it just works.
The simplest example is this: Why I like Apple laptops over everybody else: Not just their design, but their engineering. You have to hold the laptop, push or pull on a ledge to unlock the screen so it springs up and you can push it up and tada: you see a screen. With Apple, it’s a little magnet and you just push it up and you can use the system. It’s ready to be used, literally: ready. Your apps, the cursor in the same spot; even if the battery died before. There’s the difference. It’s convenience.
I want to come home and not type a password, if someone at my place knows who I am and it pretty darn convinced of that, so can a computer be. I don’t need to wave and gesture and say something and sit in the exactly right spot and say my name and do all sorts of tricks. I believe if my device (the hub) like my Watch knows who I am, and the rest pairs with it, I am good in all directions. Why not give me that convenience.
I want to come home and be synced up, I want my devices to wirelessly charge when they’re nearby enough or placed on the surface. I don’t want a ‘mat’ on my desk with arrows pointing at it “HERE IT GOES”, and if it’s protocol A, it won’t work. No, the convenience is that I can place it on the left, right, or behind the monitor, because I have other stuff I put down as well.
Why can’t my speakers be wireless, but only on when I am home? And my music I purchased on the way home not play when it’s the weekend (but leaves me alone during weekdays?). Instead of me programming this for hours with many devices that only work on one platform, but not the other. I should come home and leave and stay up at night and what not, for weeks, and slowly the systems learn my preferences – and without me having to change preferences.
Anyway, if we can just not stretch this over a period of 24 years, but make some big moves and chances that we can adapt to, we will have a lot of awesome new tech that doesn’t feel like tech, but feels like conveniences and lets us focus on what we want to do with our written words, pictures, and media. I am tired of entering my password, or touching my finger everywhere to authenticate. I am tired of feeling limited with what I can do with my data and media. Just let me sit down and not worry about plugging in cables, and buying extras just because a new port is included, etc. Just let me have my devices, these systems, this ‘platform’, work for me, that’s why we made them in the first place.
You’re on the right path: we’re working on the tech, we can sit in cars that drive us around, but, it feels like this is a baby that is learning to get a grasp on things, but doesn’t quite know how to stack blocks yet. It’s not what is getting us out of our galaxy and into other worlds. Putting the Internet in our pocket by introducing the iPhone, does. Let’s make five more of those steps in the next 24 years, don’t slowly build up for decades to get to that first next step.
If you are still reading this, you have more patience than me to listen to my ramblings, but I appreciate it. Or, perhaps you are interested in convenience as well.