The iWatch Mac: Why Apple should put Siri in OS X

Apple's plans to put Siri inside OS X sets the scene for yet another user interface revolution from Cupertino, one no one can match.

The iWatch Mac: Apple's Siri for OS X plot

Think different

Apparently Apple is considering implementing Siri within OS X. Critics slam Siri for its limitations now, but the Siri you use today is no more likely to be the Siri you use tomorrow than any other piece of technology you may employ. As I speculated in 2011, Apple is working on this.

The capabilities of the voice assistant will expand. This means the number and nature of what you'll be able to ask from Siri will grow. This includes its future capabilities when controlling your Mac.

A Mac powered by your voice? That's nice, but what's revolutionary about it?

Think different: If your Mac is voice controlled, then do you need to be in the same room to control it? No. All you need is a connected and approved device, such as an iPhone 5S that recognizes you as the authorized Mac user because it has scanned your fingerprint. Once you are recognized, your Mac won't even need to be in the same country to do as you ask.


So what sort of tasks should you be able to ask your Mac to do?

It's easy to imagine you'll be able to call up and share files, set schedules, edit existing documents and images, and more. Much of this is already handled by iCloud, so it's easy to imagine these tasks being extended. I think we should think a larger picture. Think Remote Desktop or Screen Sharing for your voice.

How might this work? You won't need a keyboard, mouse or display, because AirPlay-compatible displays will show a virtual image of your Mac desktop. Need a keyboard or mouse? Just use Bluetooth with your other Apple device.

You now have all the power of your Mac controlled by your voice (or whatever) and visible on whatever compatible display is available to you. Because your systems know your voice and TouchID controls the process with your fingerprint, the whole process should be relatively secure.


You have your own private cloud, one in which what you do isn't scanned for potential ads sales leads and one that is free of NSA snooping in order to protect a flawed notion of "national security" in which the citizens become the enemy and need to be watched.

Suddenly customers will have another great reason to stay with Apple's platforms because they provide a completely mobile and secure multi-device environment for their computing needs: mobile or Mac, tablet or PC.

In this model your computing experience is made possible through an interface consisting of a processor, a connected device, an optional visual display, a microphone/speaker and a little cloud-based intelligence.

This system will let you control all your Apple devices -- even your TV, because all these systems are based on a similar OS.

It seems clear Apple is slowly assembling the many pieces that will be required to deliver the next revolution in user interfaces; a revolution that creates the foundations for all manner of other innovations, including wearable innovations -- a Mac remotely controlled by an iWatch? That's rather more useful than Samsung's Gear, is it not?

No one else is in position to achieve this because no one else (successfully) offers products within each of these matrices, and while such solutions will decimate Apple's MacBook business, such cannibalization doesn't frighten Apple.

Apple's "done innovating"? Don't be stupid. There's plenty more it can achieve.

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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