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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You Are Here, Please Go Over There.

Following is an item from The Hindu, an English Language Indian Newspaper with a large circulation base in Southern India, founded in 1878.
"Apple has bought the indoor GPS mapping firm wifiSLAM for 20 million dollars, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, in a move seen as a challenge to Google’s dominance of mobile mapping software.
WifSLAM’s technology could allow Apple to pinpoint the location of users inside buildings to within 2.5 metres — an asset that could be valuable to advertisers wishing to target mall shoppers.
Google already has an extensive catalogue of public floor plans which it used to map the interior of public buildings for users of its Google Maps service.
Apple tried to challenge the dominance of Google Maps when it released its own mapping software with the launch of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 last year. However the software was widely criticized for being inaccurate and confusing and Apple was forced to issue an apology to users and recommend using third-party products."
There are many who see this as a creepy, big brother style invasion of privacy, while others see it as a blatant intrusion of direct and immediate marketing. More likely, this is the final piece of the puzzle. A technological implement that will transform the iPhone from a toy with a few useful applications for real life into the all encompassing, shining beacon of hope that everyone has dreamed about for so long.
Imagine, a trip to the mall, and a stop in the bathroom that lasts a little too long. A kind voice, nestled warmly in pocket or purse, says "Probiotic yogurt is on sale this week at Piggly Wiggly, five for $7.00." Thank you, Siri.
It is impossible to calculate the times a person has gone out, in public, wearing something that was not appropriate for their age, or size, or the occasion. Now, when they are shopping a stern voice will warn, "buying that shirt will be the biggest waste of money, and quite possibly cause the most embarrassment since your Junior year, maybe you should go look at the XXL Polo shirts."
Imagine the ease of saving money when one knows that Siri is going to say, sarcastically, "Are you sure you should be buying that, considering the amount you owe on your Visa Card?" the minute you get to front of the long line, filled with judgmental, smug, gainfully employed jerks.
People who are carrying around a few extra pounds will finally have the help they need to shed that extra weight, imagine the power of Siri shrieking "PUSH YOURSELF AWAY FROM THE TABLE, YOU FAT BASTARD."  Healthy, happy living through electronics.
Of course, it would be impolite to report what the iPhones say to each other, and would probably hurt a lot of people's feelings. But, this is one more step toward the complete reliance on technology and machinery for which mankind has been longing.