The digital world is hungry for your eyeballs, and the tools we have to manage and mitigate those potential distractions and filter through the most valuable information are looking increasingly inadequate. How many times has your smartphone buzzed or beeped in your pocket in the last five minutes? The demands on our attention are only going to get more frequent, and it’s time for a new breed of notification to address that.
WWDC 2014 is over, and while it may not have brought us new hardware, it did give iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite their official reveal, key software launches in Apple’s master plan. As is so often the case, though, the devil is in the details, and in among the developer sessions a picture of context, device ubiquity, and cross-platform identity gradually made itself clear; one which could have huge implications for Apple’s upcoming push into wearables.
Has Glass gone off the boil? Google's wearable launched in Explorer beta form to great fanfare, but privacy concerns, criticisms of "Glasshole" arrogance, and legitimate doubts about the value of what it actually offers have left the headset on questionable ground. I love the idea of wearables but I don't often put Glass on any more, which got me thinking: what could Glass do to make it a must-wear?
Third time looks to have been the charm for Microsoft, with the Surface Pro 3 proving to be a surprise hit among most reviewers - even those who are usually ardent Apple fans. As Vincent’s glowing judgement of the adaptable tablet suggests, there’s a lot of value to be found in a flexible form-factor. The glaring omission, though, is in not taking that flexibility to its logical conclusion: it wouldn’t take much for Microsoft to really tip Surface into must-have territory.
The Worldwide Developers Conference is just days away and Apple fans around the world are getting a little more than excited to see what the company has come up with for 2014. Will Apple move forward with not one but two iPhones? Will we finally see an iWatch or a smartband that users can wear around the wrist? Will new iPads come out? The excitement surrounding the event has hit a fever pitch.
Google is making its own self-driving cars, and it wants you to see them. The surprise announcement of a fleet of autonomous vehicles - based on Google’s many thousands of miles of research driving, but without the safety backup of traditional controls - to test their viability was notable not only for how audacious Google is being, but for the scale of the challenge its chosen design presents to the current car industry behemoths.
Google can’t rely on traditional advertising to make its billions any more, and is looking to smart thermostats, wearables and more to fill in the gaps, but what makes for an engaging - and unobtrusive - 21st century ad? A recently filed Google SEC document explaining that the definition of mobile was expanding to encompass smart home hardware such as Nest, as well as wearables like Glass and Android Wear, among other platforms has prompted concerns of commercials on every display. But is there a way that Google could package promotions that users not only accept, but embrace?
It’s all over. Microsoft’s Kinect, which has improved greatly since its launch on the Xbox 360, is officially on a death march that won’t slow down.
Microsoft announced recently that in order to bring its console price down, it will soon start selling the Xbox One without a Kinect. The new price tag for the bundle -- $399 – will certainly attract those who have been turned off by the $499 price, but is it really in the best interests of Microsoft?
The market has spoken: big phones are in style, and by all accounts Apple will give consumers just what they want with both a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and even a 5.5-inch version. It's a sizable change in all respects from a company that has until now insisted that its approach to touchscreen dimensions has been the perfect one. So, the question becomes: how does Apple make the turnaround graceful, rather than face accusations it's playing catch-up?
Imagine a different world, a world without Apple, the most dominant company in the world. Better yet, imagine a world where Apple never existed and never launched its computers, never offered the iPod or iPhone, and never unveiled an iPad.
Now that all of that is in mind, imagine what the world would be like. Would it be a better world? Would the technology industry have more innovative companies delivering technologies we have now? Would companies that Apple demolished along the way have found a way to succeed and do what Apple hasn’t?
Apple is working on a television. That’s what the rumor mill says, at least. It’s also what analysts claim, what Steve Jobs hinted to in the Walter Isaacson biography on his life, and what everyone hopes to see. But at this point, I’m starting to wonder if all of those claims and our hopes and our dreams about an Apple television won’t ever translate to an actual device launch.