By the year 2020, you'll interact with your phone, tablet, PC and TV by talking, mostly.
Voice interaction and artificial intelligence won't be an "app" that you "launch," then "use."
Your human-sounding virtual assistant will be "ambient" -- whether you're in the office, home, car or walking around town. You'll just talk and your virtual assistant will hear you because it will always be listening. It will have conversations with you and go off and do things for you.
Your virtual assistant will know all about you -- your preferences, history and current situation -- and use that information to interrupt you with highly relevant information and suggestions that will constantly help you. (Yes, there are privacy challenges. But solving those is a separate issue from the inevitability and desirability of voice-interaction virtual assistant interfaces.)
Today, such technology exists in rudimentary form. But it doesn't matter because people don't use it.
Today, the most popular voice-interaction virtual assistants, which are Apple's Siri and Google Now, are amazing resources that hardly anyone really uses. Even occasional users don't understand all they can do -- especially Google Now.
And Google Now is getting more capable all the time. Google is reportedly testing "hyper-local" news -- information about your neighborhood and even street. Other reports suggest Google Now will be involved in home automation applications.
But no matter how good Google Now gets, it doesn't matter if people don't use it.
And that's why the Moto X is a revolutionary smartphone. It's the first product that I believe will mainstream everyday voice interaction with an artificial intelligence virtual assistant.
The Moto X is a time machine that transports you to the future. It lets you interact with your phone like you're living in the year 2020.
Don't be distracted by the Moto X's non-revolutionary features
Motorola unleashed a lot of new information this week about the Moto X -- it's enough to make us miss what really matters.
For example, you're going to hear about how you can custom-design your phone on the "Moto Maker" site, and how it will be built in the U.S. in a highly automated, 480,000-square-foot factory and shipped to you within four days. You'll be distracted by the 10-megapixel "Clear Pixel" camera and fast, wrist-turning gesture to instantly launch the camera (originally called "quickdraw" internally at Motorola) and a minimalist camera user interface.
These and many other cool features will be balanced against various perceived downsides -- for example, the screen is much smaller than some of the newer Android phones. You'll hear from some that the Moto X is an unexciting, middle-of-the-road phone because it's not bigger or faster than some other phones on the market. You'll hear complaints that it's a U.S.-only phone.
In other words, not understanding what the Moto X represents, the "experts" and influencers will get bogged down in ordinary conversations about ordinary smartphone functions and features.
Don't be distracted. Like the Apple iPhone in 2007, which introduced the public to the multi-touch user interface, the Moto X represents the future of not only smartphones, but of all computing.