Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Tech Talk

Apple wasting time with iWatch


Apple’s iWatch looks beautiful. It is a stone cold fact that cannot be denied. The problem comes when you try to nail down its purpose. We’ve all heard the old chestnut “necessity is the mother of invention.” After you take a good long look at the iWatch, there is no denying it is completely unnecessary.

Year in and year out, since the rise of the affordable personal computer in the mid 1980s, technology has been society’s problem-solving wizard. Laptops allowed us to work anywhere, iPods allowed us to carry our entire music library with us at all times, and smartphones kept us connected to each other, information and basically our entire lives. Other gadgets have come along to make these innovations more luxurious (iPads, set-top boxes, George Foreman grills…), but none of them are true necessities.

Since Steve Jobs’ passing, everyone from impatient stockholders to your Facebook-addicted grandma has been waiting for Apple’s next great innovation. The iWatch is not it. Sure, it can display your heartbeat and compresses some smartphone capabilities, but everything it does can be done on your smartphone right now. It’s a luxury, not a necessity. Apple knows this: they only built the iWatch to quiet some of its doubters until it pins down the true problem in our technological lives — television.

Every piece of technology in your life has been revolutionized over the last decade except for the television. Sure you can hook it up to the Internet and cast things from your phone, but unlike the iPhone, iPod or Laptop, no TV innovation has turned the industry on its head. Shrinking an iPhone and slapping it on your wrist is not revolutionary and won’t bring in billions of new dollars. Seamlessly melding the worlds of cable television and web content? That will empty every wallet in America.

Will Apple ever debut another iNecessity? Of course. Ever is a long time. However I’m worried in the meantime we’ll be subjected to an endless stream of trivial iWatches, iDinnerPlates and iShoes before we get watch we actually need: the iTV. Apple, stop wasting our time. CV

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Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. Follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb.

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