Predicting the future of technology is often a shot in the dark. But every once in awhile, the complex evolution of tech gives us something that actually fulfills the starry-eyed dreams of years or decades before. And as we look back at the incredible achievements of Steve Jobs, you quickly see that, more than any other single innovator, he was responsible for so many of today's real-life consummations of past predictions.
Apple's iPhone 4S announcement yesterday was somewhat anticlimactic save the incorporation of Siri, a voice-command application that is now integrated deeply into Apple's new iOS 5 and allows users to ask their phones questions and give them commands in natural language. And if that kind of voice recognition and command sounds somewhat familiar to you technophiles, it should. Siri is the indirect spawn of DARPA, Danger Room reports, envisioned to help military commanders organize their data and otherwise make sense of fast-moving situations.
Today in Cupertino, Apple announced the newest version of its bajillion-selling iPhone, to be named the iPhone 4S. Like the iPhone 3GS, this is a small, mostly internal upgrade over its predecessor--a new dual-core processor here, an improved camera there--though there is a major addition in the form of Siri, a voice-command service Apple bought awhile back that allows you to ask your phone questions, or tell it to do things, in natural language. Lots of things.
The Seagate GoFlex Satellite is a simple idea: take a big hard drive with you, wherever you want to go, that doesn't need any advanced setup, that doesn't need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network, and can beam your music, videos, photos, and documents to whatever device you happen to have with you--iPad, smartphone, laptop, whatever. And it does exactly that. Congratulations, iPad/smartphone/etc owner: You now have 500GB of extra storage, no matter which device you're using.
For some people, this story about robot workers taking human jobs may be good news.
Foxconn, the Taiwan-based factory firm that makes nearly half the world's electronics, aims to replace 1 million of its workers with robots within in the next three years, the company announced over the weekend.
We're excited about NFC, with all its wallet-replacing, house-unlocking, Wi-Fi-password-remembering potential. But NFC does require a hardware chip, and that means we're at least a few years from real adoption. The recently announced Zoosh is a wireless protocol that can handle many of the features we're so anxiously awaiting in NFC--but without any new hardware, you could theoretically get Zoosh on your smartphone with a mere app download.
As we approach Memorial Day, I can think of few things sadder in the summertime than overdone meat. There are a number of tools and methods to combat such tragedies, but perhaps most novel among these lately is the iGrill--a dual-probe meat thermometer that pairs with a companion iPhone or iPad app via Bluetooth. With an accurate temperature readout in your pocket, you're free to go about your business, checking the temperature occasionally and getting a buzz when your meat reaches a set temperature of your choosing. That's the idea, anyway.