Last week Apple's staged their September event to announce the new iPhones and iPads that are available. The company also announced a refresh of the Apple TV set top box. While the updates to the software and hardware are notable one thing that seems to have been neglected during the event was HomeKit, the underlying software solution that will tie together our domestic lives.
Why is this interesting to those of us living in northwest Indiana?
Because, as we've written about on the site in the past, home automation is becoming a bigger topic in our lives. Security, HVAC, kitchens and other functionality-specific devices are becoming integrated into the Internet of things. Like the unseeable force, this ubiquitous layer of technology has nearly engulfed nearly every facet of our post-modern existence.
Can you name a service or sector of our day that hasn't been newly informed by tech development in the last 10 years?
However, having a comprehensive solution that is user friendly is something that people are looking for but cannot yet expect. Unfortunately, the software is not yet cognizant enough to operate without a heavy human hand capable of tweaking the algorithm from time to time to optimize the output. We don't yet live in a world that knows when you're home watching Netflix alone or when you have company (and can make recommendations based on who is present in the group). Imagine setting-relevant curation of content.
This opportunity for refined shared experiences means means better results out of dashboards at home with family in Schererville or at the office with coworkers up in Chicago. The contiguous mesh of wireless networks buzzing through the air is poised to allow for a consistent and constant mobile experience no matter where we go.
Many companies are working on artificial intelligence assistant-like technologies to help bridge meatspace with the digital worlds that are increasingly permeating our daily regimens. Right now it seems likely that AI will first stand for "augmented intelligence" (with much of the augmenting coming from the human side of the relationship) to help our technology hone in on the customized experiences we are growing to assume are in place.
It looks like it might still be a while before all the heavy-lifting necessary for the semantic experience researchers like Tim Berners-Lee and others have philosophized about. There is so much contextual data that needs to be input and related before this is a reality. The value is immense but the appreciation will be reliant on an experience that doesn't turn people off to the onboarding process. In the meantime, we'll just have to appreciate a lifestyle that is more akin to what we watch on network sitcoms than what we see in near-future sci-fi.