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Apple's New Device: The iTalk

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Declaring that "the future of communication is digital communication," Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the company's newest device, the iTalk, during his keynote address on the first day of San Francisco's annual Macworld Expo.

Expectations were high for this Expo, since Apple had been hyping the event for a week, indicating that something "revolutionary" was in the offing. In addition, Jobs' keynote was rescheduled for the Expo's first day, the only time this has happened in Macworld San Francisco's 18-year history.

Jobs did not disappoint. What made the presentation of the iTalk so startling was that Jobs never moved his lips the entire time. Instead, the speech came from a large speaker built into the handheld device, which also verbalized Jobs' speech in Japanese and German. Jobs indicated that the unit was connected via cable to a cybernetic port surgically installed at the base of his neck. Later in the keynote, Jobs confirmed that this organic/computer hybrid port was indeed the "GigaWire" connection that Apple rumor sites had theorized about for months. However, this GigaWire connection was certainly "beyond the rumor sites" as Apple's website had previously claimed.

Looking like an oversized iPod, the digital music device recently unveiled by Apple last fall, the iTalk is programmed with every language known to man, and with its built-in Airport connection, the unit can also convey a user's thought commands to other Apple devices, therefore eliminating traditional input devices like a keyboard or a mouse. The iTalk also features a small color screen upon which a scaled-down version of Mac OS X could be seen running. "With the iTalk better facilitating the use of the human brain--the true center of your digital world--Apple has created the perfect synergy between humanity and technology, which should create a better future for mankind," Jobs claimed. He indicated that the iTalk, in conjunction with the new GigaWire technology, should lead to greater understanding between people groups, more efficient workspaces now that input devices have been rendered obsolete, and the elimination of repetitive-motion and stress-related injuries.

Jobs demonstrated this during a "bake-off" between the current PowerMac G4, not updated for the show, and a Pentium 4-powered computer, both rendering a 3-D poster of the Mona Lisa in PhotoShop. The demonstration created a moment of unexpected humor, when Jobs reacted negatively to the G4 being woefully outperformed. Via the iTalk, Jobs' obvious frustration generated a slew of additional commands that the G4 was unable to process while simultaneously rendering the PhotoShop image. As a result, the PowerMac self-destructed in a ball of flame, bringing to mind Apple's early-90s Powerbook failures. Anticipating this situation, Apple employees from Cupertino had fire marshals on hand to contain the blaze. No one was hurt.

Ironically, this unexpected development did manage to prove the viability of iTalk, which also contains a number of native applications designed for it, similar to iTunes and iMovie, both of which also received updates unveiled later during the keynote. iSlang, designed to help new users "fit in better" in unfamiliar surroundings, has several categories including Suburban Philadelphia, Valley Girl, and Pimp. Other applications include iSwear, featuring harsh epithets in a variety of languages, designed, as Jobs explained, "to assist the user, whether he or she is dealing with an annoying family member, an uncooperative cab driver, or Microsoft Tech Support." Attendees wondered why Apple would feature such an application on a device intended to unify the human race and its technology, but Jobs stressed that "as long as people like Carrot Top and Bill Gates exist, we have to be realistic."

The most positive of these new applications is certainly iAffirm, featuring appropriate and uplifting phrases to use in times of emotional distress, neatly organized in categories such as Death of a Family Member, Divorce, Unexpected Hospital Visit, and You Just Bought A Dell.

While Jobs expressed high hopes for the new device, calling it a "must-have for every human being, not just Apple users," the GigaWire concept and its required experimental surgery was a lingering question in everyone's minds until Jobs revealed that all Apple Stores will now feature a "while you wait" 30-minute one-stop surgical theatre to install the new connection, a procedure that will be bundled with the purchase of the iTalk, currently priced at US$1800. The surgery will be performed by employees from the Genius Bar.

In other developments, the keynote also unveiled a new flat-panel iMac, a new digital photo application called iPicture, and three new colors for the iBook: Snow, Eggshell and Off-White.



[ 01-04-2002: Message edited by: Gandalf the Semi-Coherent ]</p>
post #2 of 4
Nice post, G. Enjoyed it a lot
phok cignachurs
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phok cignachurs
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post #3 of 4
Sadly, the voice was a dull monotone like Stephen Hawking, and many observers were a little unsettled by the voice.

SdC
My signature irritates people. However, my cat can still jump a watermelon, and the Apollo is the next chip coming to the Powermac line. Although, at this point, I'd believe that Cyrix is the next...
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My signature irritates people. However, my cat can still jump a watermelon, and the Apollo is the next chip coming to the Powermac line. Although, at this point, I'd believe that Cyrix is the next...
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post #4 of 4
[quote]Originally posted by Gandalf the Semi-Coherent:
<strong>

iSlang, designed to help new users "fit in better" in unfamiliar surroundings, has several categories including Suburban Philadelphia, Valley Girl, and Pimp.
</strong><hr></blockquote>



"Come on, just one more trip."--the purple pimp from GTA3

They should have a GTA3 quote file built-in with phrases like:

"Anything you want for 30!"
"What's up esse!"
"Hey Holmes!"
"You call that a pistola?"

[ 01-05-2002: Message edited by: Horned_Frog ]</p>
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