I’m also a geek that loves nifty tools. From my iPhone to my Kreg Pocket Hole jig to my MX Revolution mouse and Surface 1030 mousepad – I look for things that are not only cool but help me get the job done more effectively and efficiently.
In addition, I’m an artist and as such, am quite attracted to Apple’s innovative products because they look so darn good and are so well thought out. Apple has mastered the User Experience (UX) game, which is incredibly difficult. In this arena, they have no peers. But fancy looking products and great UX only do it for me for a moment before the geek in me wants more.
You see, it’s not just about how well the tool works, but how well it works with other tools. My iPhone is great, but it is a stand-alone device (albeit a very versatile device) that serves to meet the need of portable connectedness.
When I saw the iPad, I had the same reaction – what a great looking device, but how would it help answer a problem for me better than what I have. The answer was resounding silence, which brings me to the point – integration.
I think the next technological evolutionary step will be to have a unified computing environment that allows you access to your files, apps and web-based content in an unrestricted and uninterrupted manner while moving from one device to another. We see this in the movies all the time. Tony Stark’s (Ironman) house had a very powerful computing system that ran the entire house and no matter where Tony went, he had access. The system became an extension of him in life.
That being Hollywood, I understand it is more science fiction than current day reality; however, it seems like Apple is poised to make that jump. They control the hardware and the sotware and have just enough moxy to try to pull it off, but will they? One thing will have to change – closed systems (think their hyper-critical stance against Flash) will have to be more open because as good as Apple is at the UX, they can’t possibly meet the needs of every aspect of our lives.
Here’s what I think that first step would be. Imagine an iMac in the office, MacBook Pro in the bedroom and an iPad on the living room coffee table. Say, I’m reading a blog post in the office and want to finish it on the couch. I hit a button on the screen to send the content to the iPad, walk into the living room where’s it more comfortable and pick up right where I left off.
Now that’s a simple example, but one that simply isn’t possible today. Once it is, I will be very compelled to take a hard look at partaking of the rotten fruit. For now, it’s just a pile of expensive gadgets – as cool as they are to look at, they simply don’t justify the price and pain to convert.