When Apple’s Siri first came out, it reminded me a lot of the typical Sci-fi movies. Usually some hidden computer is commanded by a person speaking naturally and the computer responds in a similar fashion.
I, Robot (2004) – The central super-computer VIKI
Minority Report (2002) – The system in Tom Cruises’ car as well as the office
These are just two of the many examples where some all-knowing, seemingly omnipresent computer can do a person’s bidding while speaking naturally.
This is the future of Siri.
Before he passed, Steve Jobs said that he wanted to create an “integrated television set” and how he finally managed to “crack it”. The beauty of Siri lies not with its advanced voice-recognition or even its natural language processing – which have both been around for quite some time – it is really with its tremendous access to your data. Many people store their whole lives on their smartphone now. Contacts, calendars and emails are all hooked up and synced with users’ iPhones.
So how does is this related to the forthcoming Apple TV (not the set-top box) and the Sci-fi movies? I believe that Apple TV will be much much more than just a TV. It will essentially be the central computer for families and will be easily controlled by voice. iCloud is already present on Macs (allowing even more access to a persons data) as well as iPhones and it will inevitably be connected to the Apple TV and thus will have access to all your digital data. While HP with its’ Touchsmart (also see the Samsung RSG309 LCD refrigerator) has for some extent tried to enter this market for a families’ central digital organizer, the Apple TV will have a much bigger advantage with iCloud. The Apple TV will become the smart computer you can talk to to set up a calendar appointment, bring up pictures from your computer or search the internet. But more than that, it will become the robot from the Sci-fi’s that knows everything about you stored digitally.