What new directions should Apple explore?

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  • Reply 21 of 46

    Solid lithography printer and a design store.

  • Reply 22 of 46
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    shawkin wrote: »
    Solid lithography printer and a design store.

    I like this idea but the R&D will be higher to come up with unique processes and material. This would be especially interesting if Apple could get a decent commercial printer on the market in the $500-$1000 range. No tiny parts either, the expectation would be the ability to print page size parts at least six inches thick.
  • Reply 23 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    Not a bad idea really. As it is Apples iPods have been used in war zones to establish communications with people speaking different languages. This isn't automatic translation of course but that is really out of the scope of today's devices.



    In a couple of other threads I mentioned that Apple needs to move more of the Siri AI onto the devices proper. If they go this route, I see potential in a sort of babel fish functionality. I don't think it would be possible to do it via Apples servers and get the realtime results you want.

    This would require that some of Siris functionality be handled locally on the device. I believe it is in Apples best interest to spread the AI between the device and Apples servers in the future so maybe this functionality would just be an extension to the local AI. The big problem here is CPU power and storage, I suspect a lot of flash would be needed for a real Babelfish device.

     

    Good post. I think that Siri (or a more advanced and capable version of it) would be required to make much of what is being discussed in this thread happen. So, can anyone speculate as to why Siri has not yet come to the Mac OS and has been restricted to only iOS devices?

     

    As I understand these types of services, it's important for them to be able to "learn" through increased interaction. And the more plentiful, complex and involved the interaction, the more the service can learn and improve over time. Since making my initial post here and on another board, it's come out that Apple has indeed made more investments and forays into predictive analytics research. Not being a programmer or computer scientist, I don't know what the speedbumps would be in bringing Siri to Mac OSX, so can anyone shine some light on that?

  • Reply 24 of 46
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,755member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Not a bad idea really. As it is Apples iPods have been used in war zones to establish communications with people speaking different languages. This isn't automatic translation of course but that is really out of the scope of today's devices.

    That feature is already here. Google Translate has supposedly had a "conversation mode" for a couple of years (I had never used it) and a recent update has enabled it on Android smartphones. I'd expect Apple will bring it to their iDevices sooner rather than later, perhaps with the next iOS version. The hardware should already support it.
    http://googletranslate.blogspot.jp/2013/11/have-easier-conversation-with-google.html
  • Reply 25 of 46

    This has been a great thread. Lots of good ideas. The iPhone wasn't in prospect when Wozniak and Jobs conceived and developed the original Mac. Predicting the future is a difficult if not an impossible enterprise. One could say the iMac, Power Mac, iPhone, iPad. iPod are today. Tomorrow is another day. I like Google's entry into robotics. I like even more Steve Wozniak's suggestion of some sort of partnership/merger between Apple and Google. We would't want Apple to become another Blackberry, would we!

  • Reply 26 of 46

    Siri is still pretty clunky, it still has a long way to go. It looks as though Google is working towards intelligent robotics. Siri must keep up! robotics is the next logical step for Apple.

  • Reply 27 of 46
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    greatrix wrote: »
    This has been a great thread. Lots of good ideas. The iPhone wasn't in prospect when Wozniak and Jobs conceived and developed the original Mac. Predicting the future is a difficult if not an impossible enterprise.
    So true but that is what makes this thread both interesting and in a way hopeless. Look at it this way whatever Apple comes out with next year will have been in development for years now. That includes both hardware and software.

    Many people on these forums have no idea what goes into the build of a new product or even a new feature in an existing product. One can not snap ones fingers and expect an instant solution. To do something ground breaking takes time and frankly will have developmental set backs. Even something as simple and mundane as the iMac has ran into set backs as new technologies are applied to the machine.

    So when we guess about new products we have to assume development of those products started at least 3 years ago and likely even longer than that.
    I just had one of those thoughts flash through my mind. imagine if Apple produces a projection TV as has been speculated. What is the first thing any self respecting hacker would do?


    Mount the projector into a an R2D2 robot of course. Yes I said it first.

    In any event I honestly see robotics as the way forward for Apple. I see robotics as having more potential than wearable computing but I also see a huge mountain of development and invention to overcome first. So wearable computing is probably a good short term expansion even if I don't see massive rapid adoption.

    One could say the iMac, Power Mac, iPhone, iPad. iPod are today. Tomorrow is another day. I like Google's entry into robotics. I like even more Steve Wozniak's suggestion of some sort of partnership/merger between Apple and Google.
    Wozniaks is whacked in this regard. Apple needs strong competition to be at its best. That use to be MircroSoft but MicroSoft is like grit dying on the vine after a frost. They smell of rot and decay.

    We would't want Apple to become another Blackberry, would we!

    Nope! Frankly it could happen to them as fast as it happened to BlackBerry. However buying Google would be more troublesome than helpful. As for pissing away huge sums of money, like a purchase of Google would be, they would be better off buying the major Cell Phone service providers in every market they reach. Doing so would allow then to aggressively attack the cost of LTE and other serves greatly expanding demand for their product. Drop the cost of services and one objection may have with respect to smart phones goes away.

    As an technician one thing I'd love to see Apple do is to get into instrumentation. With iOS they could really innovate in the instrumentation market and give the likes of Fluke and Agilent a run for their money. The big problem is that the instrumentation market is well a little conservative. it isn't a huge market and the equipment life span is far different than most Apple hardware. With Apples know how though I could see a multimeter that truly lives up to the "multi" portion of that descriptive word. Honestly though the market is peanuts compared to what Apple does volume wise and simply won't grow like other industries Apple has entered.

    One thing that Apple should contemplate is nuclear energy research. No I'm not kidding here. There is much happening in this world that could use the finical backing of a big corporation like Apple. Reactors based on Thorium are one example as are things like focused fusion machines. We are at the stage where in the years time an entirely new nuclear energy industry could emerge, one that is far safer than todays systems. Sure it is a big gamble in some respects but lets face it so was the IPhone. There are so many avenues being pursued here that the big problem is picking what to back.
  • Reply 28 of 46
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    greatrix wrote: »
    Siri is still pretty clunky, it still has a long way to go. It looks as though Google is working towards intelligent robotics. Siri must keep up! robotics is the next logical step for Apple.

    Lets narrow that down a bit and say AI is the next step forward. AI that is built right not Apples devices and continues to evolve over time. Once you have credible AI much can fall into place afterward. Robotics is just one thing that AI enables. After all dumb robots have been working in industry for years, what is needed is the intelligence to set them free. Well that and a lot of research into mechanical and electrical systems.

    You look at the common R2D2 robot image and you realize that what is missing today is really the AI to make such a robot viable. Mechanically and electrically R2D2 isn't an impossibility today. The level of interaction he had with humans and the environment though is impossible at the moment. This is why I see AI as an important stepping stone to useful robotics.
  • Reply 29 of 46

    "Good post. I think that Siri (or a more advanced and capable version of it) would be required to make much of what is being discussed in this thread happen. So, can anyone speculate as to why Siri has not yet come to the Mac OS and has been restricted to only iOS devices?"

     

    Because Siri will make its debut in an update on Mac OS via the new Apple TV device. :-)

     

    Okay, so I hope anyway.

  • Reply 30 of 46
    marzetta7marzetta7 Posts: 1,321member

    Can't help but wonder too that once the h.265 spec is ironed out, if then we will see the Apple TV device sing.

  • Reply 31 of 46
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    marzetta7 wrote: »
    "Good post. I think that Siri (or a more advanced and capable version of it) would be required to make much of what is being discussed in this thread happen. So, can anyone speculate as to why Siri has not yet come to the Mac OS and has been restricted to only iOS devices?"
    Really good question to which I do not have an answer. Well not a good answer. In my view Siri currently has one ver serious limitation, that is the required trip to Apples servers which makes it useless for free standing systems. Frankly it severely impacts the use of Siri today on your cell phone.

    I strongly believe that for AI to work well it really has to become either part of the operating system or actually replace the operating system. Right now it looks like replacing the OS is way off in the future. So in this regard I really think that Siri should come to e Mac as an OS service.
    Because Siri will make its debut in an update on Mac OS via the new Apple TV device. :-)

    Okay, so I hope anyway.

    The Apple TV device is a IOS based machine if they follow today's practice.
  • Reply 32 of 46

    I am first and foremost a Mac person - so I couldn't care less about these other devices associated with the fabled "Internet of things".

     

    Smart TV? Too big to replace every two years and already dealt with by the ATV;

     

    Watch? Buy a Swiss one and be done with it;

     

    Home automation? SJ is dead, so the level of innovation we would REALLY need is not going to be there anymore...just to flick switches, put iPads on fridge doors etc..? Irrelevant.

     

    The only "new" direction Apple should or could explore? Actually something that I had predicted after SJ's passing: the return of the mythical Mac midrange tower. Just give me a revamped Quadra 840av-like machine and I will be happy.

  • Reply 33 of 46
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member

    Mac people are never satisfied what they own. They always strive for better and better  all the time.

  • Reply 34 of 46

    http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/ge-and-quirky-unveil-interesting-new-gadgets.html/?a=viewall

     

    In April, General Electric (NYSE:GE) opened its patent vault to Quirky — a crowd-sourcing company headquartered in New York City that brings products to the marketplace via the interaction between the global community and Quirky’s product design staff. Now, the first four products created under the partnership between GE and Quirky have been unveiled under the joint Wink brand.

    “For years patents have become widely misunderstood and misused,” Quirky founder and CEO Ben Kaufman said. “We are going to return patents to their original purpose to act as a blueprint for technological and societal progress while protecting inventors and becoming a source of inspiration for future creators.”

    The first four Wink products focus on connecting consumer goods in what GE calls the “Industrial Internet.” As Kaufman explains: “Our future will be driven by access to things via our smartphones there is a ton of invention to be done in this area and no one owns this category.”

    Once you look at the results of GE and Quirky’s work, you might be inclined to agree. Featuring a variety of everyday devices that interact with a user’s a smartphone and other devices, you can see why GE and Quirky believe that smartphone technology is ready to invade the home in a big way — although the prices will likely keep adoption slow in the early goings.

    Check out some of the new gadgets after the jump.

  • Reply 35 of 46
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    brlawyer wrote: »
    I am first and foremost a Mac person - so I couldn't care less about these other devices associated with the fabled "Internet of things".
    The Internet of things is certainly overblown. This coming from a guy that like to work on embedded things.
    Smart TV? Too big to replace every two years and already dealt with by the ATV;

    Watch? Buy a Swiss one and be done with it;
    Really who wears a watch these days? I just don't see this as a mass appeal device. The iPhone is useful to the entire population not just the nerds. For the most part I've never worn a watch, there is really no good reason to do so today.
    Home automation? SJ is dead, so the level of innovation we would REALLY need is not going to be there anymore...just to flick switches, put iPads on fridge doors etc..? Irrelevant.
    The part about Steve Jobs is baloney. If you read the history of the company you will realize that in many cases engineers had to work around Steve's melding to deliver products people would buy. Apple will remain Ok as long as the engineers are free to deliver the hardware they would want to use themselves.

    As to home automation you are right. I bought an automatic setback thermostat decades ago, that is plenty of automation for most homes.
    The only "new" direction Apple should or could explore? Actually something that I had predicted after SJ's passing: the return of the mythical Mac midrange tower. Just give me a revamped Quadra 840av-like machine and I will be happy.

    You an me both. Apples line up just sucks. People take that to mean that I hate the Mini and the Mac Pro. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is just that neither really fits my needs right now. A Mini like machine could come close if it ever gets updated but it is and always will be a limited machine compared to what one can get in a desktop machine.

    Mind you I'm agreeing with you even though I know desktop sales are in the toilet.
  • Reply 36 of 46
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

    Really who wears a watch these days? I just don't see this as a mass appeal device. The iPhone is useful to the entire population not just the nerds. For the most part I've never worn a watch, there is really no good reason to do so today.

     

    Yet I can attest to being around a group of people who all had phones in their pockets and seeing my watch on my wrist asked me what time it was.

    I find just twisting my wrist to see the time far easier than taking a phone out.

  • Reply 37 of 46

    Originally posted by wizard69:







    The Internet of things is certainly overblown. This coming from a guy that like to work on embedded things.

    Really who wears a watch these days? I just don't see this as a mass appeal device. The iPhone is useful to the entire population not just the nerds. For the most part I've never worn a watch, there is really no good reason to do so today.

    Most people still wear watches - but they don't need nor want them to beep whenever there is a stupid incoming email. Besides, the market for watches is extremely conservative when it comes to the traditional reputation of certain makers - Apple could easily compete with the likes of Swatch, Casio and others - but not with RADO, Patek, Rolex etc. Therefore, it would be extremely unwise of Apple to release something like that, particularly when the vision and perfectionism of SJ are no longer there.

     





    The part about Steve Jobs is baloney. If you read the history of the company you will realize that in many cases engineers had to work around Steve's melding to deliver products people would buy. Apple will remain Ok as long as the engineers are free to deliver the hardware they would want to use themselves.

    I beg to disagree - engineers ONLY had the leeway to change things once SJ was proven wrong in his "driven by design" pushes (the later releases of the Apple /// were a prime example) - otherwise, you'd have seen a lot more Woz-driven devices at Apple than ever released by the company. SJ's vision to create new demand out of nowhere was truly unique, and this is more than gone now apart from iterative releases based on his ideas.

     


    As to home automation you are right. I bought an automatic setback thermostat decades ago, that is plenty of automation for most homes.

    Yes, absolutely - not to mention that the requirements to "revamp" one's home to accommodate for such systems are much more complex than most people think - most countries are NOT fit for that, and the benefits would be marginal to say the least.

     



    You an me both. Apples line up just sucks. People take that to mean that I hate the Mini and the Mac Pro. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is just that neither really fits my needs right now. A Mini like machine could come close if it ever gets updated but it is and always will be a limited machine compared to what one can get in a desktop machine. Mind you I'm agreeing with you even though I know desktop sales are in the toilet.




    Indeed. Even though I do remember the dark times at Apple when four different models were released for the same machine (something that SJ was wise to stop), it is clear that, ESPECIALLY since desktop sales are no longer Apple's main cash cow, the company COULD release a high-quality desktop with a reasonable level of expandability so that I do not have to buy a new iMac every time I need a new computer. Just give me a top-notch display like my 2011 iMac's and let me upgrade the innards every two years or so. 


    A little more bottom line for Apple and many more happy campers out there, without any sacrifice to the company's streamlined production lines; after all, we would just have three clear desktop lines: entry-mid without display (since the mini would be gone), the iMac and the MP.

  • Reply 38 of 46
    nhtnht Posts: 4,488member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

     

    Yet I can attest to being around a group of people who all had phones in their pockets and seeing my watch on my wrist asked me what time it was.

    I find just twisting my wrist to see the time far easier than taking a phone out.


     

    They didn't ask the glasshole at the next table?

  • Reply 39 of 46
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nht View Post

     

     

    They didn't ask the glasshole at the next table?


     

    We were all outside.

  • Reply 40 of 46
    irelandireland Posts: 17,623member
    Should?

    Where are they likely to go? Well, a larger iPhone is guaranteed I'd submit. A larger iPad? That's a different matter. I've yet to be convinced on that one.

    Then there are unsexy sounding areas like watches and TVs: I think watches and TVs aren't going away any time soon and both are areas of innovation ripe for tapping. Besides Kuro owners, no one loves their TV. That's a problem. TVs are way too complex and the average living room has too many remotes (more than one is too many) or one of those ghastly, ghastly universal remotes that needed programming. Problems that can only be solved by creating a great, simple, sexy, integrated television, which Apple could do. It's the way forward and ultimately the only way I see this space going. You think the console wars are tough? The AIO TV wars will be a blood bath.

    My own personal view on the iWatch is it actually has to be a music player first and formost (something Apple may or may not realise). And to do that one of the bigger innovations we need in that space are sexy, wireless Apple EarPods of some kind that charge easily and probably magnetically. I'm thinking wireless in-ear headphones, like those ones that don't exist.

    Now, getting back to what I think Apple 'should' do? I believe they should make a decent wireless light bulb (I'm deadly serious) that can be set up and connected to your network by simply turning it on for the first time and tapping your iPhone against it, whereby you'd receive an on-screen success notification, and from that point on iOS would take care of the rest via the built in Apple designed bulb management app that is easily accessible via Control Centre. I'm talking no additional hardware required besides the bulb and your iPhone; no bridging hardware, and for the love of God no ridiculous gimmicks or colour light options. You don't just add wireless to your bulb to make it a complicated, gimmick-ridden mess. You add wireless to your bulb to help simplify your life. Something nowhere near achieved at this point.
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