The Growth of WWDC
Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference kicks off today in San Francisco, which pretty much guarantees a deluge of news about all things Apple over the next five days.
Now “Dub Dub DC” (or simply “Dub-Dub”as many call it) began as a fairly low key gathering of geeks in the 80’s, but beginning in 2002, Steve Jobs began using the event to roll out new products. That year’s big announcement was OS X 10.2, complete with a “funeral” for Mac OS 9. As a result these are some of the hottest tickets in town, priced at almost $1600, awarded by lottery and capped at around 5,000 attendees.
Secretive Developer Sessions
This year’s developers conference opens with a keynote speech at 10 AM Pacific time. John and I will be covering that in a Livestream — so watch the recording if you missed it live. Over the next five days Apple has scheduled more than 100 sessions, and is keeping the content of 70 percent of them secret by giving them titles like “No Comment,” “You’ll Never Guess This One,” and “This One’s a Doozy.”
Not everything is under wraps: The introduction of iOS 8 is expected to build upon iOS 7 which changed the look and feel of Apple’s mobile OS when it was introduced at this conference LAST year. OS X 10.10 – the latest operating system for Mac is also expected to make its debut this year.
HomeKit: Apple’s Smart Home Concept
Getting back to the possible content of some of those “secret sessions”….On Memorial Day, the Financial Times reported that Apple would be rolling out a “Smart Home” platform at the conference, which would allow users to control lights, security systems, and connected appliances.
In November, Apple obtained a patent that seems to be related to this. The filing – which dates back to 2012 – outlines far more than simple remote control of home systems. The patent application describes a platform that uses your calendar and location data to learn about your behavior to do things like re-set home thermostats to your desired settings and turn on interior entry lights as you near your house on your drive from work. Media players are also included, suggesting that a playlist of music could be triggered as you entered your home (or that the latest edition of Geek Beat would stream to your TV as you settled into your living room).
With a GPS enabled iPhone in your pocket and Apple CarPlay in your vehicle the idea that this is simply about a “Smart Home” may be a bit limiting. Once Apple developers start writing apps and tying in connected devices and services, it’s not much of a leap to also consider the impact of this at work: Team members could be notified as you approach the office, the conference room you booked could be pre-loaded with presentations as your team heads for a meeting, and location data would trigger notifications as expected visitors near your campus.
Whether or not Apple can successfully usher in this “Jetsons” automated lifestyle remains to be seen. Hey, anyone know if Spacely Sprockets is hiring?
Learn Typing from a Lilly Pad with Pad Defender
As you know, I’m a big fan of the use of technology to make learning interesting and fun – so when I learned that a Dallas-based company was turning to kickstarter to fund a gamified typing tutor called Pad Defender (starring hero frogs defending their swamp from poisonous flies), I just had to share their story. Join us for a livestream and demo of the new app tomorrow – Tuesday at 12 PM Texas time! Or 1 PM Eastern. They’ve got a ways to go before meeting their funding goal of $30,000 by the 21st of this month.
Father’s Day the Geek Beat Way
Also, Father’s Day is just around the corner and John P is putting the finishing touches on a Massive Geek Beat Father’s Day Gift Guide for our upcoming Geek Beat episode. If you’ve lost a dad like I have, then you know that Father’s Day can be a bittersweet time, but I have an idea if you’d like to honor the memory of your father AND support the construction of our million dollar Geek House: For as little as $125 you could purchase a plaque in Dad’s memory which would be displayed on the Geek House Wall of Fame (which will be AWESOME by the way). The donor wall is going to be an art feature made up of individual geometric plaques with YOUR personalized message. A HUGE thanks to some of you who already bought a plaque or two over the weekend!
Christopher Withers, FundRaiser Software, Garth Brown, Rodney Fong – You guys are awesome! And if you haven’t gotten yours, you can get one at geekbeat.tv/shop.
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