Friday, 5 May 2017

Tech Baby Grows Up

17 years ago Steve Jobs introduced the Apple Mac ... the really crucial crucial thing for Jobs was that The Macintosh Speaks For Itself (Literally)

“Hello, I am the Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag.” ~ Apple Macintosh 1984

 young Steve Jobs introduces the Macintosh

After command line text interfaces the Macs speech output and graphical user interface was super exciting .... the future was here already!

The Mac speech output got our attention but it was the graphical interface WIMP that "changed the world" - putting computing on the big screen but trapping it behind glass for decades.

The graphical user interface has defined every form for personal computer since the Macintosh - laptop, netbook, tablet and smartphone but the very thing that set computing free came to limit what it can be. 

Are out pockets bigger these days ... mobile computing has got bigger and more expensive as engineers trade screen size and capability against power, weight and battery life - a computer screen is very demanding.

The graphical user interface was a computing child screen star but trapped computing behind glass in never-never land .. computing could never grow up.

"If You Want to be Understood...Listen" ~ Babel

In 2010 Apple bought Siri and got our attention ...Tech Baby had learned to listen as well as talk ... computing could start to grow up at last. Computers were learning our natural language and rather than people having to adapt to computers, computers could adapt to us ... computing form and function could finally start evolving.
The Amazon Echo has no screen

Voice is certainly a better interface for mbile computing and people are starting to use voice assistants a lot more ... OK Google, Siri, Alexa, Cortana; Can you tell me some stats on voice search? ... Google says 20 percent of mobile queries are voice searches

Computing is no longer just a big screen actor ... tech baby is growing up and off-screen it can take on new roles and forms that we can barely imagine today. 

Apple's Siri learns Shanghainese as voice assistants race to cover languages, Pilot earbuds are like a real life, language-translating babel fish
Without a big screen computing can become limitless, take on new forms and maybe one day reach a vanishing point where it "disappears" by becoming diverse, ambient, worn and even embedded. Our high tech Smartphones of today could be the end of the screenage - what comes next may be hard to imagine just now but one thing I hope is that in learning to listen tech baby learns to scream less for our attention.

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