Color me somewhat fortunate that I work in IT so our group has the privilege to test and deploy many different devices on multiple platforms. As my credit card balance shows, I’m also willing to put my money where my mouth is, and walk the talk by purchasing those gadgets I like, and I like plenty of gadgets. That’s the problem.
The Fatigue Of Fun
There just isn’t much that Apple makes that I do not have. And keep for many years, so the collection of gadgets grows over time, too. There’s the big iMac, an old aluminum cheese grater Mac Pro, a new MacBook Pro (despite the nattering nabobs of negativism and their perspective that it’s not a pro machine, it’s fast and sweet; also something of an Apple appliance), a couple of iPads, two iPhones (one old, one new), a Watch, Apple TV, AirPods, a few Beats headphones, some old AirPort devices, and probably plenty more I forgot to mention or have stored out of sight, therefore, out of mind.
What’s the problem? Device fatigue.
I like the latest and greatest but I have limits. So does my credit card. The latest fake news says Apple is working on the so-called Siri Speaker, a home-based device which works much like Amazon’s Echo and Alexa, Google’s Home and Assistant, or any other voice-activated devices that promise the world but merely empty your bank account or swell your credit card balance.
Apple’s world wide developer’s conference arrives in June, so we’ll get previews of macOS and iOS, some stats about how great Apple is doing, and perhaps a look at a new product or two. I would like to see an iMac Pro, but many expect Apple to unveil the first Siri-based device. Wait. What? Siri-based device? Are not the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Watch already Siri-based?
Apple is a hardware company so it survives by integrating new hardware devices into the growing Apple ecosystem and next on the list appears to be a Siri Speaker; some kind of device that resides in the home, perhaps sufficiently affordable to put one in every room (doesn’t sound like Apple, does it?), very Siri-like, and always listening, ready to carry out various commands to play this or that, or listen and respond by turning on or off this or that.
Sounds fun, right?
Here’s the problem. All that Siri can and should do in a new device should also be available on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, or Watch, so– other than selling yet another hardware device– what’s the point? Siri on my iPhone is in always listening mode, but just needs more commands to act upon, not another device to listen from (sorry for dangling the preposition, but it works).
Siri Speaker will need something different, a compelling reason to use another home-based talking device other than the aforementioned Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Watch. What I would like to see is an option in Siri to be voice controlled by a specific voice. As Amazon’s Echo and Alexa work now, any voice command activates the device. Siri is the same. But if Siri could be trained to recognize different voices in Siri Speaker, then there might be a compelling reason to add another device to my personal Apple museum.