I was chatting to some LikeMinds the other day about the future of Apple now that Steve Jobs has sadly passed away. The company has obviously made Computers and Laptops cool; it also created a booming Smartphone and Tablet market which has changed the way that people collaborate both socially and within the Enterprise.
But what is left for Apple to reinvent? Well an obvious answer is the Television. If you think of the mantra of 3 screens and the Cloud; the 3 screens being Computer, Smartphone and TV. Then we should see Apple enter this market soon; ok, they do already have Apple TV but this hasn’t really taken the world by storm. An iconic television would do however. Apple will face huge competition in this field from Sony and Samsung. Already reinventing the TV with 3D and internet capabilities.
Another new market for them could be the Smartwatch. In true Apple style they have dabbled with the iPod Nano watch, almost testing the concept out on their fanbase. I have a friend who loves his, but essentially its only a music device on your wrist. Plus it looks so fragile, Im pretty sure that if I had one, it would be broken by the end of the day.
But now that Apple has iCloud and Siri, suddenly the idea of an “iWatch” could be an exciting prospect! Imagine be able to use Siri on your iWatch as a remote control, as a link between all your other Apple devices; perhaps commanding music and films from your Mac down to your TV. It sounds like something out of the Jetsons, but essentially the technology is there (about time too!). There are also rumours of Apple investing in curved glass R&D which could indicate that they are looking to improve the sharp edged iPod Nano, perhaps to make it more wearable.
Will people wear technology? Of course! But you need to make it look extra stylish. Jawbone had a go recently releasing their “UP“; a wristband that makes you healthier. But it flopped as it just looks to ugly. Nike’s launch of their fitness and calorie tracker, Fuelband is a step in the right direction. Last I read, there was still a huge waitlist to get one; perhaps taking a gimmick out of the Apple PR rulebook.
There is a huge risk for Apple though. The youth of today no longer wear watches as its seen a single purpose device; instead they use their smartphones to tell the time. If Apple were to release a Smartwatch, it needs all the design power of Sir Jonathan Ive to make sure it works not only in the Tech market, but also in the Fashion one.
I have always really liked these Futures Videos from the marketing guys at Microsoft Office. Here is the latest one that really inspires your inner geek.
What is positive to see here are the Cisco pillars of Social, Video, Mobile, Virtual and Video highly evident throughout the clip.
As I end my 1st month in my new job at Cisco, I have to say I’m really impressed with the forward thinking of the company. There has been a few negative articles in the media about Cisco’s mixed strategy, and then there was the decision to can the Flip camera. But at the heart of the Cisco is a desire to get people collaborating anywhere, anytime and more importantly on any device. As the Consumerisation of IT gathers speed, Cisco’s Collaboration solutions work on multiple platforms including Windows, Apple, Android and Blackberry giving a similar user experience across them all. I strongly believe that this is the true meaning of Cloud Computing; similar to the post I made several months ago about Amazon and its Kindle. Its not about locking people to a device or operating system, its about choice and letting people use whatever means they want to be more efficient. Cisco do this, but there aren’t many other software vendors that can claim that.
Next week I’m off to the Galway Innovation Centre with a group of Partners to see the latest and greatest Cisco solutions in action; I’ll report back next week.
Many of you will be just as impressed with the above advert for Kindle. I thought it was an excellent advertisement from Amazon detailing exactly how many devices / platforms they now support. Then I got thinking, surely this is the goal for all software vendors working in the Cloud. Don’t get hung up on whether the devices are PCs or Mac’s; Androids or iPhones; make your service consumable on as many platforms as possible to make life easier for the user.
I’d like to see Microsoft start thinking like this and perhaps create iPhone apps for Windows Live, allow me to sync information between Microsoft and non-Microsoft devices. As our new adverts on TV state, “to the cloud”; it would be nice if there was a richer experience across multiplatform to change some people’s perceptions of the organisation.