Those who lived with me at uni will recall my laptop tended towards the verbose, certainly for an inanimate object. Visitors’ responses varied between intrigued and irritated by its vocal notifications and instructions on what I was supposed to be doing. These days my tech is somewhat quieter but I remain firm in my plan one day to live in a house with which I can converse.
Yesterday Lev at work pointed out the following video. Ericsson has taken the concept of the Internet of Things (in which each individual device you own is independently Internet connected) and applied a social networking gloss in their vision of future. While anthropomorphising the communications between devices is probably a step too far, I’m rather perturbed by their passive aggressive house which appears to view its “mission” as manipulating its occupant into not communicating with other people. I can see my house ending up exactly like that.
What it does highlight is the inevitable interconnectedness of all devices in the future. This has always been something important to me, which Ben pointed out recently when responding to another visitor at a party who enquired incredulously whether I was controlling Windows on the TV through my phone. Ben explained, “you can assume any tech in Priyan’s flat talks to everything else, which,” he continued after a brief pause, “is why there isn’t anything from Apple.”
My objection to Apple is primarily that they stand firmly in the way of my vision of the future, in which every device can interact seamlessly and when one breaks I can replace it with the best available product, which will slot right into the existing ecosystem. Given that Apple (presumably) has little interest in manufacturing my fridge or microwave, will the tendency towards increasing interconnectivity force them to relax their restrictive nature? Or will they proceed on the assumption that market share will force others to make products specifically that support their devices?