Connecting the dots

In his 2005 Stanford commencement speech Steve Jobs talked about connecting the dots looking backwards. Here is exactly what he said, “Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Reading the story, Apple’s inevitable path to a post-PC era (http://gigaom.com/apple/apples-inevitable-path-to-a-post-pc-era/), at GigaOM got me thinking whether Apple is as smart as we make them out to be. Do they have a grand plan whereby they first got us used to using click-wheel on the iPod, then multi-touch gestures on MacBook trackpads, eventually leading to iPhones and iPads? Can someone, even Steve Jobs, or other brains at Apple plan the evolution of human computer interface 10 years in advance? Are we reading too much into the path to post-PC era?

Apple had the foresight to build a great user interaction with touch interface on the iPod and from then on it was evolution or logical progression, even baby steps towards the iPad. I seriously doubt that back in 2001, while designing the first iPod, Steve Jobs (or other designers at Apple) had formed the ideas for the iPad in it’s present form.

This also leads to interesting thought experiments. Where are we going in human computer interaction? Will it be once again Apple that will help us get there? What will the combination of Siri, Google Glasses like display, Kinect like gestures, Near Field Communication and ubiquitous LTE connectivity take us? There are many possible combinations and usage of these technologies. The great thing is all of this is here and now. Amazing times.

 

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