AMITIAE - Friday 29 August 2014
Cassandra: Apple's 9 September Event - Speculations and Probabilities
By Graham K. Rogers
Apple Invitation to a Wish (image from BGR)
Let me speculate a little here (everyone else is doing it) and suggest that the word "wish" in that announcement from Apple might refer to the name of the new product that everyone is sure is coming. It does fit with Apple's sometimes-poor naming conventions, and could indicate some of the capabilities: reacting to the user's needs. Speculation, as I indicate. Another suggestion, in a Tweet from Tom Negrino, put forward the equally plausible idea that this could suggest a major "improvement to Siri's capabilities."
There is no doubt that if Apple did produce such a wearable device, the history of the company would suggest that the product would be properly thought-out, would integrate with other devices and would be desirable.
It would have to be considerably more desirable than a standard watch as many users, including me, never wear anything on the wrist. I still use a pocket watch.
Also related to the potential new device is the news that Apple is to control HealthKit data sharing (Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider). This is prudent. Not only are there privacy concerns, but these are heightened when it comes to personal data regarding health and medical organisations, including the USA Food and Drug Administration - the federal Agency that controls healthcare and medicine - would be down on Apple like a ton of bricks if such data were leaked.
The choice of the Flint Center cannot be an accident and this may suggest that the history card is being played. This would indicate a significant product release that could include several examples of hardware, as well as software. When the next iPhone is released, that will also be the time that iOS 8 is made available, although I would doubt that OS X 10.10 Yosemite would be released on the same day. That hardware is less likely to include new Macs at this time, although the Apple TV is a candidate as it fits into the home environment (see below) and is due an update, perhaps to include 802.11ac Wi-Fi capabilities.
Clover makes a number of points about the historical link and the larger seating capacity at the venue. While the reason for the construction is currently unclear, product demonstration and display are possibles.
An interesting comment came from Cult of Mac (Jim Merithew) who suggested that this construction looked as if this could contain a full size home of the future. The article includes several revealing pictures (of the outside) which give a far better indication of the scale of this construction.
This dovetails neatly with a number of other speculative items concerning HomeKit and would make a lot of sense considering the already-available synchronisation of devices and the way that Apple has been championing the twin Bluetooth and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connections, not least of all in the soon-to-be-available features of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 that will allow improved device recognition.
A well-timed item by Sanna Chu on International Digital Times (28 August) outlines the ways in which home technologies could be controlled by an "iWatch": it could "potentially be used to control everything in your home from turning on the lights to changing the TV channel." The item adds, "anything in your home that's connected to the Internet whether it's your fridge, slow cooker or thermostat could be managed from your Apple smartwatch."
This fairly sharp article goes on to examine the possibility of the device using HealthKit, before making more comments on the HomeKit potential.
Campbell refers to articles by John Gruber and an item on Wired by Christina Bonnnington. Another comment on this by Zac Hall on 9to5 Mac mentions Tim Cook's hint at Apple's interest in payment services.
A number of sites will have live feeds; and if Apple also has a telecast I expect to be following events as they transpire on 9 September (the early hours of 10th here).
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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