Think of all the features that iPhone had when it launched that made it revolutionary.  Make a list.  Now think of all the features that Android brought on top of those. Help me make a list because other than open source I can’t think of any.  The key ones, glass keyboard, icons, a tactile zoom in zoom out interface, the mere concept of an app, all came with the iPhone.  Indeed probably the biggest innovation of Android was to make an iPhone like smartphone affordable.

portfolio_google_friendNow, can you imagine a product that would be as different from the iPhone was to a Nokia or a BlackBerry in 2008? The one that comes to my mind is a computer whose only interface is the spoken word, a computer that you talk to, and it talks back to you. No screen whatsoever. A computer that is like another person.  When you talk to a friend there is no screen. Only a dialog. Maybe a change in tone of voice, and a few facial expressions as you listen and see the other person. But if a person, for example, wants to describe something to you that you have never seen, say a new animal, all she has is her voice, her choice of words, to describe it to you. So would this computer.

I wonder if we could build a computer like that. Like Google Glass but without Glass. Just voice in, voice out. Something much cheaper and smaller to make than an iPhone, no screen, smaller battery, a gadget that you could wear like a band or necklace. A wearable connected life companion. And if you worry about sounding like an idiot talking to yourself with this don’t worry, people will think you are on the phone. And you won’t need dorky glasses.


(Photo credit: Tom Chitty)

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