iROBOT – Apple’s UnderGround Project?

All the iProducts Apple has been creating could be much more than just selling great products. It might be directing us into a brave new world. My intuition leads me to believe that all those, and specially Apple's iCloud and Siri might become the foundation of the new Robotics revolution.

Listening to Siri, I could not stop myself from reflecting on the sounds of Robots from Sci-Fi movies and books such as "I, Robot", "Odyssey 2001" and others, and the associations those stories has brought about.

Is this reality designed by Apple, or just an accidental outcome?

What are the clear signs for this reality?

What are the dangers as well as amazing benefits to you?

Feel free to add your thoughts and questions...

Did you know that Steve Jobs and Apple always plan 10 years ahead? However, I'd say Steve Jobs was secretly carving out his plans from a 50 years ahead vision. Yes, those recent years are part of a much bigger story that is about to unveil.

Steve had always wanted get humanity a fair chance at expressing itself through easy to use integrated holistic systems.If you are an "artist" who has an urge to express yourself, you have to struggle with several mighty challenges:

1. Get food on your plate

2. Get someone else do the daily grunge work (cleanup, prepare food)

3. Own a great "expression" tool (paintbrush, computer) that is exceptionally easy to use (mouse, touch screen)

4. Have a great distribution channel (Book Store, iTunes Store, iPods, iPads, Apple computers)

I don't think Apple's vision was about getting food on your plate (help you get the job you need to pay for the bills). But the other 3 items on the short list here are definitely what Apple is all about, and they could bring you closer to the food on your plate. Actually there is more to it, but we'll talk about this a bit later.

Get someone else do the daily grunge work

The Apple II series and later on the Macs, iMacs and the other Apple computers allowed lift off many repetitive calculations or actions. The iTunes program and its related iPod saved you lots of time finding the stuff you love and listening to it the way you like it. The iPhone, iPod touch and iPad has tons of useful APPs that save you time and effort and operating them is much easier than on a regular computer and they are available to you wherever you go, with just a touch of your finger.

Then Siri takes it a whole level up, by understanding what you meant instead of just executing exactly what you told it to do.

The iTV (my guess name for the forthcoming Apple TV) accompanied by Siri's engine will lift off any remaining struggles we still have with scheduling the consumption of our beloved TV programs and screen heroes. We will be finally able to dump our remote controls and the click-click-click-why-doesn't-it-work nightmare. We are getting accustomed to getting the stuff we do not want to do, by the iProducts, except for the physical world.

The iRobot will close the remaining gap and actually move things for us.

Own a great "expression" tool (paintbrush, computer) that is exceptionally easy to use (mouse, touch screen)

The Apple II computer was the first personal computer, but it was also the first platform that allowed developers create new tools for Apple II users. It started with the "VisiCalc" spreadsheet which took care of calculations grunge work, but in doing that allowed for financial creativity to spawn. This was one well-known example, but many other applications followed and allowed self-expression for many professionals and hobbyists.

The Apple II also allowed a relative ease of use in operating a computer, as it was the first to allow interaction using letters and words typed on a keyboard and displayed on a screen.

The Macintosh took it further with stunning graphics, clear menu system and easy to use interface - the mouse.

The iPod let people express their likes for music, and provided a simple interface to listen to them, and an exceptionally easy way acquire them through the iTunes store.

The iPhone and iPad allowed do the same with movies, but furthermore, allowed them to express themselves with a much wider audience, through the network access and social media.

Initially it was the Touch interface that drove quick adaption, and now it will be Siri.

The future Apple TV, will bring this experience to a much wider audience, at home.

Apple always facilitated quick adoption of its products by offering an innovative easier to use interface, making it easier to express yourself, and this leads us to the next story...
Have a great distribution channel (Book Store, iTunes Store, iPods, iPads, Apple computers)

We have reached the last item on the list, but I'd like to remind you we still have to expose the Invisible Agenda, but first let’s talk distribution.

The Apple II physical distribution channel was based on computer stores, and later expanded to computer and electronics brands and other partnerships.

However the Virtual Distribution Channel was based on the operating system platform, and developers who created software for the Apple II, increasing its value and reach, and forcing the physical channel to expand. People needed the software solutions available on Apple II and this drove sales for the hardware.

This increased when the Mac was out the door.

As the iPod was introduced, it was accompanied by the iTunes Store and partnerships with the Music Industry. This has widened to the TV and Film industry when the iPhone and iPad was introduced.

The launch of the App store, expanded the Virtual Distribution Channel (same as the Apple II system did in the past) and drove sales for more devices.

Siri might create a whole new category of a Virtual Distribution Channel, based on voice. It could analyze what you ask for the most, talk about all the time, and offer you products and services that match your interest. It could match what you and your friends like, and offer group discounts. It could offer information for marketers which is much more powerful that what Facebook now offers.

It is because Siri serves your most personal needs, that you would not even share on Facebook, not because they are secret. Let me explain. On Facebook you share what's up with you. But you tell Siri what you need, all day long. You feel much more intimate with your personal assistant compared to your friends - right?

Anyway, combining Siri with the future Apple TV brings Apple's personal assist from the road to your home, dumping away one of our most frustrating tool - the manual remote control.

The distribution channel might then include goods from stores. So your neighborhood mall will be paying 30% commission to Apple, for facilitating your shopping. Well, almost. Doing that Apple will complete a holistic integration with your life. Well not yet.

Siri is still virtual. Well, maybe not for a long time...

I believe that Apple has already got the iRobot ready for manufacturing. It is not being delayed because Apple cannot manufacture it, at least in a limited distribution. Apple needs Siri to mature, to get to know you better. Apple needs you to trust Siri and get used to using it. Then the final frontier will collapse when Siri becomes part of the new "mind" of Apple's iRobot.

Apple will then be able to Get iRobot do the daily grunge work for you, you will own a great "expression" tool (iRobot will do stuff for you) that is exceptionally easy to use (tell iRobot and it is done), and Apple will have a great new distribution channel.

The iPhone, iPad and iTunes facilitated the marketing and sales of content (songs, movies, apps),and the iRobot will be the channel for the physical goods. Guess where the Wal-Mart’s iRobot version will buy your grocery from... It will probably be sold for almost free, once you pay the Wal-Mart’s monthly membership fee or minimum spending).

The Invisible Agenda (content not products)

People tend to believe that Apple is focused on creating great products.

I don't think this is Apple's main target.I believe that for Apple, It is all about the content. It was always so. Here is how it looks like:

Apple II - first computer - sell programs

Mac - first graphical computer - sell even more programs

iPod - first simple to use powerful personal MP3 player - sell songs

iPhone - first touch screen, powerful content/app mobile device - sell songs, movies, apps, books

iPad - first touch screen, powerful content/app mobile tablet - sell songs, movies, apps, books, services

Siri (yes, I am saying the product was not iPhone4S, it was actually Siri) - first voice driven mobile personal assistant - sell songs, movies, apps, books, services

iTV - first voice operated home assistant appliance - yes, the future Apple TV will not only make it easier for you to find, record and display your content. It will help you manage your life, focusing on shopping from your local stores (Google Local / Facebook Places killer?).

iRobot - first voice operated humanized personal assistant. From shopping to supporting your mother as she gets old - distribution channel - physical stores. Let’s face it, who would not be happy to avoid grunge shopping. We would probably still actually go to a store to buy clothes, shoes gadgets and cars 🙂

What's next - who knows...what do you think?

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