Apple and Android are looking to help you control your life through your phone. The phone looks to be the epicenter of consumer technology right now with cars, wearables, and home devices branching out from there.
In June 2014, Apple held its developer conference and announced iCloud Drive which allows users of mobile devices to have the same access to their content (documents, photos, music, video) as desktop users. A new developer feature is HealthKit which allows developers to create Apps which will collect personal data such as level of exercise and heartrate.
Two other features of note including further use of Touch ID for apps which may be important in banking and family sharing which allows up to 6 people to use the same credit card to access apps and books. When a child tries to make a purchase, the authorized user gets a notice asking them to approve the purchase.
From a device standpoint, rumors point to two large iPhones–one with a 4.7″ screen size and another with a 5.5″ screen size. Many believe the iWatch will finally be released as well (to take advantage of the HealthKit features).
The latest rumor is that Apple will be launching one device that will compete with the Nest, a thermostat developed by a former Apple employee. Nest was sold to Google and is the beginning of Google’s infiltration of home devices. HomeKit, like HealthKit, is a collection of developer tools launched by Apple to allow products and apps to increase home automation from wireless household music, security systems, thermostats, lights, smart appliances, and entertainment features.
Honeywell’s Nest competitor’s new device has a feature, variable range geofencing, that turns on the heat or air conditioning in your house when you come into a geographic range based on the GPS of your phone so that when you arrive home, it is at the optimal temperature.
In the developer’s conference, Android introduced Android Wear which begins with the launch of three different watch pieces that connect with your phone and bring music, calendar alerts, text messages, emails, and even recipes to your wrist. (Check this link on your phone to see if it is compatible).
At the Google I/O developer’s conference, wearables were discussed as well as in home entertainment and Android Auto. Android Auto is run via voice commands and reliant on an Android phone. The current focus is on music and maps.
Together all of the above are known as components of the Internet of Things. Reza Raji theorized in 1998 that technology would be integrated into every aspect of our world.
“What if the Internet was allowed to go beyond connecting desktops and laptops and could somehow be tied to the devices around us?” He further illustrated the connectivity mechanism as a natural extension of “the networking paradigm into control devices by allowing the different networks to join and form a homogenous networking fabric. In the same way that the intranets became an extension of the Internet, the local operating control networks, …could be linked to the Internet and intranets where information (data and control) could flow from anywhere to anywhere, from anybody to anything. People could now reach things as well as other people.”
As tech becomes more personal, beyond the phone, to devices that are on and with us at all times, media that isn’t extensible to those platforms (like books) may decline in popularity whereas media that is (like audiobooks) may increase.
I’m excited to see the new slate of iPhones and the Moto360 watch. There’s a lot of innovation coming down the pipeline that will integrate technology into your everyday life beyond the phone and the computer. It might be a bad thing, but it’s coming. What are you looking forward to?