Maybe I should change my name to “iRubright”.

I bet if “iRubright” were the name of an app, it would not be approved for sounding too much like some sort of sex app. That, or Apple might sue me for some patent they filed a million years ago for an upcoming self-pleasuring model of telephone.

This post is a little techno heavy. Not techno as in the *Uhn Tis Uhn Tis Uhn Tis* kind. Techno as in the technology kind. But don’t let that scare you. You should read it.

Anyway.

I was trying to figure out just how this whole iPad thing could fit into my life. Not because I need one. Yet. But because I’m curious as to why any person would *actually* need one, short of being an Apple Fan Boy.

But I had an epiphany of sorts concerning this. Not about what the iPad means now, but what it’s future could be.

I realized the potential of the iPad and other tablet/handheld/slate/PADD-style devices to myself, thanks to something that occurred while re-watching a ST:TNG episode called “The Price”.

Counselor Troi entered her quarters and the following happened:

Troi: Computer, dispatches…

COMPUTER: A research inquiry from the Manitoba Journal of Interplanetary Psychology and three communiques from your mother…

Troi: Transfer my mother’s letters to my viewer…

… and computer, I’d like a… a real chocolate sundae.

That’s when it hit me, just like an elderly driver crashing into a crowd of people. There is a tool that I am missing: I need a tool that has the ability to interact seamlessly with other technology objects I have around me. I need an “appliance” that has the ability to pull or push stuff from one device to another and move about and do what I need.

Simply. Efficiently. Effectively. And humanly.

Think of the rigmarole you have to go through, even now, to move stuffs from one technology object to another. And that’s even if you have the same OS on said devices in question! Just throw different OSes in the mix and it gets even worse.

I know the “cloud” is making it easier to do some of this transferability, but not everything I do is cloud-centric. Sure, things like documents and spreadsheets I can work on and store in the cloud, and even work on them through web-based interfaces without having software pre-installed on my device. But say I want to work “offline”? While I see working offline becoming less and less an option as everything moves towards a wireless/cellular infrastructure (and I’m personally okay with that), not everyone is. Some people want their bits in their possession at all times. And sometimes you’re trapped in a Faraday cage.

Example. I’m working on a tattoo rendering on my computer at the studio. I get tired of sitting in front of my computer and just want to transfer it to my PADD so I can go doodle on it. Somewhere else. Like at home. Or outside if it’s a nice day? I don’t want to have to save the file, move it to a storage location from the computer, pull the file over to the PADD from the storage location, etc., ad nauseam. I would like to just be able to slide whatever it is I’m working on over to the PADD to continue working.

Technology should be that simple.

I spent a decade-and-a-half in a technology field where I would routinely see end-users who didn’t know how to complete what should have been a simple task (either from lack of training, or… PEBCAK). Technology shouldn’t be like that. Technology should “just work”. As humans do, and as humans think.

And yet technology still doesn’t. Still. After all these decades. Not even with Apple. Or Microsoft. Or anyone else here on Earth.

Why is this? I understand we’ve come a long way from the command-line of old (which I still use frequently), but we still have a long way to go before technology becomes “invisible” to the end-user. Where we don’t have to think about “how” to do something, we just do it.

When the iPad, or *any* device that comes to market, can do that, I’ll be first in line for it.

Oh, and the ability to order a sundae would just be an added bonus.

Until next time...
Erik

5 thoughts on “Maybe I should change my name to “iRubright”.

  1. The ST PADD is a couple hundred years off. I hope we don’t have to wait that long. And funny, I forgot you were a tech-head, what with you settling so nicely into your self-employed bliss…

    1. I hope it’s not that far off. We seem to have made leaps in the 30+ years that “cool” consumer electronics have been around. Hopefully that curve will continue to sharpen and we’ll get the stuff we want soon. Unless of course that curve is like a warp-curve and we can just never hit “10”.

      And I tend to forget that I’m a tech-head too at times, but rarely. I think once you think in zeroes and ones and peripherals, you always do.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree. While on the subject of technology we wish to see, I’m still pushing for “Camera Eyes” – some sort of visual recording device that would record images I see for sharing with others later. For example, the guy in line at KFC today talking with the full-on headset attached to his phone – a headset, mind you, that was larger than anything the people working the drive-through were sporting. Unfortunately, the phone’s camera can only do so much and you can’t get a close up without being obvious. Plus, I think this would be a valuable tool for recording everything I see and wish I could easily share with others. That, and Jetson cars. Still waiting for Jetson cars.

    1. Funny you mention that camera eyes thing. One of my former co-workers and I always wanted a device like that, and even came up with a few ideas for implementation. Maybe we need to get back to work on that….

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