iPhone 3.0: everyware-ready?

Apple’s iPhone 3.0 announcements caused a kerfuffle today, but it seems to me insane that the thing that’s being talked about most is… Cut and Paste?

At the time the event was running I summed my feelings up in <140 chars thusly:

Twitter / Matt Jones: of course, while I'm shaki ...

I mean – they’d announced that you could create custom UIs that worked with physical peripherals – they’d had someone from Johnson & Johnson on stage to show a diabetes sensor companion to the iphone – the nearest thing to AP’s Charmr you could imagine!

Then my friend Josh said:

“Am now wondering whether a bluetooth/serial module and arduino will be able to talk with iPhone. And, pachube

A rapid prototyping platform for physical/digital interactions? A mobile sensor platform for personal and urban informatics that’s going mainstream?

Imagine – AppleStores with shelves of niche, stylish sensor products for sale in a year’s time – pollution sensors, particulates analysis, spectroscopy, soil analysis, cholesterol? All for the price of a Nike+ or so?

Come on, that’s got to be more exciting than cut and paste?


Tom Igoe points out in his comment correctly that I have been remiss in not mentioning Tellart’s NadaMobile project from late last year – which allows you to easily prototype physical/digital/sensor apps on the iPhone through a cable that cleverly connects to the audio jack. It’s also totally open-source.

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21 thoughts on “iPhone 3.0: everyware-ready?

  1. It is interesting – especially when you consider that there’s no real market pressure to make personal medical tech sexy. Just as long as it’s fully compatible with the heart rate monitor transmitter woven into the smart-fabric of my future t-shirt, etc.

  2. Thank $deity that someone else noticed this.

    Also, let’s hope that the market doesn’t get too hung up on medical uses only, just because that’s what was demonstrated at the launch!

  3. They certainly gave the Johnson and Johnson woman plenty of time for her demo, so Apple think it is a big deal. I suppose everyone will use cut and paste, which having tried it is clever, but the sensor integration is definitely more exciting. iPhone as digital data notepad.

  4. you can keep your blood sugar and blood pressure monitors. i think we may be only a few months away from iphone-controlled uhh… personal massagers. every new technology is first applied to sex.

  5. Tellart already solved this: Audio port input. I have a potentiometer from them that works lovely on my iPhone. Presumably other analog sensors will do just fine. BT would be nice, but come on, Apple’s not gonna play nice on physical devices, they don’t get it. So we have to work around them.

  6. I’m fond of the analogy that mobile device can be an enhanced “sensory organ” that every human should carry around. Think of all its senses: it can sense location, sounds and identify music track (Shazaam), metadata attached to physical objects (2d bar codes), other iphones (and thus people). With a dating app, maybe it can even sense heat maps of where singles are doing their partying. With mobile devices, we are basically moving beyond our basic 5 senses to interact with the physical world in completely new ways.

  7. I’m with Qdub here. “AI” as in “amplified intelligence” is the next killer app:
    Bluetooth audio alerts (“your ex is neighborhood”) are cool, but I want my Oakley sunglasses with a Terminator-like data overlay.

    > Putting “phone” in the device’s name is pretty much missing the point at this stage. It’s a black box…a magical black box…
    Well put, Scott!

  8. Exciting stuff! Three people yesterday suggested we make an nfc shell for iphpne!

    But i looked at this with @Cottam today, and it looks like the licensing agreements for hardware are quite restrictive, you have to be part of Apple’s approved ‘for iPod’ accessory programme. Which might make the hackability of this end a bit more difficult.

  9. The sensor thing is a wonderful development… but for the vast majority who don’t have diabetes and aren’t going to use their phone to check their cholesterol, cut and paste is more useful. Specialized sensors do even worse on the public radar… even if you can interpret spectroscopy and particulates results, you’re still going to want cut and paste to put them where you want them; meanwhile, most people have no clue what such things *are* let alone what they’re for or why they could be more important than c&p.

    Wake me when they package the whole thing in a convenient size; I have too much junk in my pockets already.

  10. Apple’s new tech fits in very neatly with work being done by Toumaz Technology in London (intelligent sensors on plasters, using bodywave to transmit – http://www.toumaz.com/) and t+medical’s mobile phone health monitoring, which was on trial across the UK a couple of months back (http://www.tplusmedical.co.uk/?lang=EN). Have a look at this article wot I wrote. Both companies are worth watching for medical innovation with micro-scale devices, but especially Toumaz.

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