For fans of the brand, Apple has been strangely absent from the car industry. Siri Eyes Free is the company’s first dip in the water.
Have you ever wondered why Apple hasn’t been more active in the new electronic car industry, adorning cool new displays on Tesla Model S, dazzling infotainment systems on Aston Martin and Maserati? So did we.
Microsoft Does It, Why Not Apple? It has always struck us as odd why Ford chose Microsoft Windows to power Sync system. Why not a more likely candidate, such as Apple? We asked this question and the answer was simple. Microsoft was the only game in town a few years ago and ready to work with the automobile industry. Apple simply wasn’t. That was back then and today, the Cupertino California computer behemoth is finally dipping its toes in the automobile industry. In 2012, we noticed a few Apple people walking around in auto shows with determined looks on their faces, armed with iPads. Were things about to change? No matter how many times we asked, Apple never confirmed anything.
What Would Steve Do? In the highly entertaining game of What Would Steve Do, WWSD, we often wondered how would Apple go about designing its own car. Rumors circle around how Steve Jobs toyed around with the idea, but Apple was in no financial shape to challenge this expensive industry then. Is it any closer today? It certainly is. If Apple designed its iCar, it would most likely look like a Tesla Motors Model S. Steve Jobs fondness for German cars where form follows function hints it would have been close to what Franz von Holzhausen designed with the Model S. Tesla Motors shares a lot with Apple, its infotainment is in the same vein. Even Apple ex-Seth Rubenstein joined Tesla Motors to design the Tesla Stores, so why not have more Apple influence in the cars? We’re willing to bet, Steve would have wanted Siri in your car if it was well integrated.
Siri Free Eyes in Your Car. The obvious introduction here is Siri. For those who balk at Apple and still feel Siri isn’t “true” artificial intelligence, AI, the system has slowly matured and Apple is mulling over a few more updates. Even is Siri suffered from first version qualities, it got better over time. It would make a lot of sense using Siri for in-car navigation aid, voice recognition and more.
Let’s face it, current infotainment systems are not that great after all. They don’t always work as well as advertised and demand a steep learning curve in order to make them truly practical. Most of the time, you need to say a command, wait for the computer to recognize what you are asking, then give it another command and finally wait for everything to be processed. Siri, on the other hand understands: “Call Mom” and will call the right person with a simple confirmation. In other words, Siri does in one step what other systems do in two or more.
Is Apple serious about the automobile industry? There is no reason why it wouldn’t be. It has achieved what it set out to do, dominate its computer industry segment. It is virtually rolling in cash, currently more than our Federal government seems to be able to manage. Yet, Apple needs to beware and not repeat mistakes other computer makers made in the past. With a new wave of unsatisfied old-time customers and certain questionable product quality, Apple needs to step into this uncharted territory carefully with stellar products. What is even more important than stellar customer service, or user experience is product quality from demanding infotainment systems.
This industry is ready for an Apple shake down. The question is, are you ready for Apple’s Siri Eyes Free in your infotainment system?