Tag Archives: iPad

Hey Siri, Ready for an Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple? Guess Who’s Suing.

The AI personal assistant with the “most usage” spanning  connectivity across all smart devices, will be the anchor upon which users will gravitate to control their ‘automated’ lives.  An Amazon commercial just aired which depicted  a dad with his daughter, and the daughter was crying about her boyfriend who happened to be in the front yard yelling for her.  The dad says to Amazon’s Alexa, sprinklers on, and yes, the boyfriend got soaked.

What is so special about top spot for the AI Personal Assistant? Controlling the ‘funnel’ upon which all information is accessed, and actions are taken means the intelligent ability to:

  • Serve up content / information, which could then be mixed in with advertisements, or ‘intelligent suggestions’ based on historical data, i.e. machine learning.
  • Proactive, suggestive actions  may lead to sales of goods and services. e.g. AI Personal Assistant flags potential ‘buys’ from eBay based on user profiles.

Three main sources of AI Personal Assistant value add:

  • A portal to the “outside” world; E.g. If I need information, I wouldn’t “surf the web” I would ask Cortana to go “Research” XYZ;   in the Business Intelligence / data warehousing space, a business analyst may need to run a few queries in order to get the information they wanted.  In the same token, Microsoft Cortana may come back to you several times to ask “for your guidance”
  • An abstraction layer between the user and their apps;  The user need not ‘lift a finger’ to any app outside the Personal Assistant with noted exceptions like playing a game for you.
  • User Profiles derived from the first two points; I.e. data collection on everything from spending habits, or other day to day  rituals.

Proactive and chatty assistants may win the “Assistant of Choice” on all platforms.  Being proactive means collecting data more often then when it’s just you asking questions ADHOC.  Proactive AI Personal Assistants that are Geo Aware may may make “timely appropriate interruptions”(notifications) that may be based on time and location.  E.g. “Don’t forget milk” says Siri,  as your passing the grocery store.  Around the time I leave work Google maps tells me if I have traffic and my ETA.

It’s possible for the [non-native] AI Personal Assistant to become the ‘abstract’ layer on top of ANY mobile OS (iOS, Android), and is the funnel by which all actions / requests are triggered.

Microsoft Corona has an iOS app and widget, which is wrapped around the OS.  Tighter integration may be possible but not allowed by the iOS, the iPhone, and the Apple Co. Note: Google’s Allo does not provide an iOS widget at the time of this writing.

Antitrust violation by mobile smartphone maker Apple:  iOS must allow for the ‘substitution’ of a competitive AI Personal Assistant to be triggered in the same manner as the native Siri,  “press and hold home button” capability that launches the default packaged iOS assistant Siri.
Reminiscent of the Microsoft IE Browser / OS antitrust violations in the past.

Holding the iPhone Home button brings up Siri. There should be an OS setting to swap out which Assistant is to be used with the mobile OS as the default.  Today, the iPhone / iPad iOS only supports “Siri” under the Settings menu.

ANY AI Personal assistant should be allowed to replace the default OS Personal assistant from Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana to any startup company with expertise and resources needed to build, and deploy a Personal Assistant solution.  Has Apple has taken steps to tightly couple Siri with it’s iOS?

AI Personal Assistant ‘Wish” list:

  • Interactive, Voice Menu Driven Dialog; The AI Personal Assistant should know what installed [mobile] apps exist, as well as their actionable, hierarchical taxonomy of feature / functions.   The Assistant should, for example, ask which application the user wants to use, and if not known by the user, the assistant should verbally / visually list the apps.  After the user selects the app, the Assistant should then provide a list of function choices for that application; e.g. “Press 1 for “Play Song”
    • The interactive voice menu should also provide a level of abstraction when available, e.g. User need not select the app, and just say “Create Reminder”.  There may be several applications on the Smartphone that do the same thing, such as Note Taking and Reminders.  In the OS Settings, under the soon to be NEW menu ‘ AI Personal Assistant’, a list of installed system applications compatible with this “AI Personal Assistant” service layer should be listed, and should be grouped by sets of categories defined by the Mobile OS.
  • Capability to interact with IoT using user defined workflows.  Hardware and software may exist in the Cloud.
  • Ever tighter integration with native as well as 3rd party apps, e.g. Google Allo and Google Keep.

Apple could already be making the changes as a natural course of their product evolution.  Even if the ‘big boys’ don’t want to stir up a hornet’s nest, all you need is VC and a few good programmers to pick a fight with Apple.

Apple iOS Email: Boldly Building an AI Rules Engine

When selecting the ‘flag’ option on an email, one of the menu options shown is ‘Notify Me…’  When anyone replies to that email thread, the person/me is notified.

This Apple iOS email feature, ‘Notify Me…” seems like a toe dip into an AI Email Rules Engine with the one condition and without customization. Is a full blown engine in the Apple product roadmap akin to Outlook?  Has this feature been ‘out there’ for awhile, and I just missed it?

Regardless, a more powerful, robust AI Rules engine, yet keeping the iOS simple, and elegant design could enhance business savvy user’s experience.

Notify Me Feature
Notify Me Feature

Consumer Electronics Show Highlights: Nervous during pregnancy, iBaby is for you.

My wife and I had children while we were young and again,when we were a bit older, tried and tried to have another child, and eventually we had Sam; however, it was quite nerve racking especially when some couples have miscarriages.  The entire pregnancy, some are quite nervous if everything is OK with the baby, especially at night, if you don;t feel the baby move.  Even when we were young, if my wife did not feel the baby, we got nervous, and stayed up at night until we felt a response from the baby.  Leave it to the technologists at iBaby Labs to put your mind at ease any time, day or night.

We had our 3rd baby a little later in life, and were quite nervous that the baby would be healthy because of our age.  We constantly listened and felt for heart beats early in the pregnancy, and were up some nights waiting for the baby to kick or move many a sleepless night.  The iBaby Heart Sense allows you to instantly hear the babies heart beat though your iPad.  Using simple Doppler technology, within seconds you can see and hear the babies heart beats, record them throughout the pregnancy, the software makes sure to record, and compare the babies progress throughout the pregnancy.  They also are able to display information relevant to your trimester, and you can correlate it back to your own experiences.  Kiss those sleepless nights goodbye waiting up to hear the baby and the nervousness that everything is OK until the baby kicks.  Now, if I have a 4th, iBaby HeartSense will come in real handy for myself and the baby.

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iBaby HeartSense
iBaby HeartSense

Consumer Electronics Show Highlight: It’s iPotty Time!

As a father of three, and already had the challenge of putting two children through potty training, and now one on the way to potty training, it can be very challenging to get the toddler comfortable with transitioning from the diaper to the potty.  There were many a time where both me and my daughters were crying for different reasons, they wanted to use the diaper, and it was a struggle getting them in that comfort zone of using a potty.  One of the solutions I look forward to comes from a very creative team from Brooklyn, New York,  They are still working out the branding, marketing, and engineering of the potty, but as you are able to see there is a potty that the child can sit down on and play games on an iPad, or even read the award winning E-Book Once Upon a Potty on the iPad.  That is how we were able to get our daughters to go potty, reading that book every night.  To top it all off the “iPotty” am affectionately calling it, has a seat cover, so it serves a dual purpose.  The young man demonstrating the potty was talking about using the seat after the fact. Although, I believe from a physiological effect, put the seat on first, and have the child play on the chair with the iPad, reading the Once Upon a Potty book, or iPad games so they are very comfortable with the chair, and after a while the child wont even realize they are now all grown up, and you may shed a few tears, because after this, it’s off to college.

Android and iPad mini users, don’t fret, the designers mentioned compatibility for those products as well, and for under 40 USD it’s a steal.

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CES iPotty
CES iPotty

Actor Voice Overs for Apple’s Siri and Google’s AI Voice

There should be add on, for purchase, modification packs, for the smartphone’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Voice Command module, e.g. SIRI, or Google’s AI Voice Recognition, this way any retired, or semi retired actor gets easy money going into a studio recording their well known voice, and royalties go to the companies that are selling the AI voice over modification package, so instead of the standard woman’s voice, you can get anyone who would sell their voice.  It should be extremely easy to implement, the voice is probably a vocabulary indexed with certain words.  The actors or actresses need to record their voices saying a specific set of words as defined by the library of words, and I hope the Android and Apple operating system companies thought ahead to make these libraries like plug and play adaptable.  If Apple or Google made the AI Voice API open so anyone can record their voice and interchange with the default voice, actors, actresses, musicians, or anyone can sell their voice in the Mobile Vendor’s marketplace as an add on module.

Elastic Computing for Mobile Devices: Mobile OS Hosting Maximizing Computing Capacity

Why not port each mobile OS over to a cloud, a server farm of virtual machines where users are able to scale their CPU, RAM and storage needs to streach as far as their imagination, and keep the local processing power focused on local needs, e.g. antenna, input.  I worked on a project where we used a server farm of mobile devices, DeviceAnywhere, to test our mobile applications.  The product was in its relative infancy, they racked the devices.  I’m thinking you image the mobile OS, and allow for scalability. The primary limitation, bandwidth and refresh rate for the device user interface (UI), AND local mode for truly ‘remote’ or ‘unplugged’ access.  The first issue will gradually go away with the expanded speed of the global networks.  We also had accelerometer and GPS issues with the rack / Cloud configuration, but that can be easily fixed with an alternate VM architecture where the device passes this information to the VM.  This way local computing power would focus on GPU and other local access requirements.  Their could be a lightweight Mobile OS for a truly ‘unplugged’ experience.  Why? Simple.  Mobile companies are almost on a ‘space race’ similar to the 1960s.  This time there is no moon as the limit.  This way innovation can go back to focusig on all local breakthroughs, the integrated devices just like what got us here, an accelerometer, GPS, music enhancenents, usability design, and so on.