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The Future: Siri-ously Lytro

Posted on Oct 21, 2011 by in Apple, Featured, iPhone, Mobile, News | 2 comments

The Future: Siri-ously Lytro

There are a few tech­nolo­gies that have popped up in the last few weeks that I believe are the future. One of them is Siri and the other is the Lytro cam­era. I will start with Siri.


Siriously awesome

Siri­ously awesome

Siri is the incred­i­ble new vir­tual assis­tant for the iPhone 4S. It (she) works with voice com­mands and as far as intu­itive con­trol goes, it gets no bet­ter than that. Noth­ing comes close to voice con­trol when it comes to pass­ing com­mands right now… maybe until they per­fect that Emo­tive brain con­trol system.

Why is this awe­some? Say for exam­ple you want to cre­ate an appoint­ment tomor­row for 2pm. On most devices, the pro­ce­dure would be some­thing like this:

  1. Launch the cal­en­dar application
  2. Select the option to add a new appointment
  3. Enter the title or descrip­tion of the appointment
  4. Enter the location
  5. Pick the date
  6. Pick the time
  7. Save
That’s roughly 7 steps and I can bet there are heaps more steps for other devices. To do the same thing in Siri is just a mat­ter of hold­ing the phone up to your ear and say­ing “Set up an appoint­ment  for me with Michael at 2pm tomor­row”. Boom. That’s it. That is just one of the many things you can say to Siri. Siri is not only aware of who is talk­ing, it’s aware of rela­tions, mem­bers of the fam­ily (wife, hus­band, brother, con­tact) aaand it’s also loca­tion aware. So you can tell Siri some­thing like “Remind me to call my sis­ter and to take out the trash when I get home”. Once set up, it will know who your sis­ter is and know when you’re home using GPS. Amazing.
One of the skills we mas­ter early in life is to talk. Instead of hav­ing to learn how to use com­put­ers and other devices, it’s great to see that tech­nol­ogy has reached a point where it learns us and the way we can inter­act with it. That makes tech­nol­ogy more acce­si­ble to the masses, no man­ual needed. The next bit of tech is also about as rev­o­lu­tion­ary, it’s called the Lytro camera.


Lytro camera

Lytro cam­era

Words can not describe the awe­some­ness of this cam­era… So I found a video to break it down. In a nut­shell, the Lytro cam­era cap­tures the light field as opposed to just a plain image. With this light field data you can refo­cus an image after tak­ing it. That’s incred­i­ble. Fur­ther more, you can parallax-pan the image and do all sorts of magic with the pic­ture data. I can fore­see this tech­nol­ogy mov­ing into mobile phones. I mean, there’s no need to focus and the cam­era is light­ning fast — per­fect for mobiles.

There is room for improve­ment though. The 8x opti­cal zoom is prob­a­bly  part of the rea­son why it has such unique elon­gated cube design. Also, I assume the large amount of data cap­tured is the is prob­a­bly why the Lytro cam­era can’t do video right now but I’m sure with advance­ments in stor­age and per­haps some opti­miza­tion and com­pres­sion, we’ll be see­ing that soon.This kind of cam­era will def­i­nitely shake things up and I can not wait to see it extend to video cap­ture and mobiles. Enjoy the Lyro cam­era demo from All Things D at the AsiaD con­fer­ence with Walt Moss­berg below.


  • Raheel Kumar

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaah, really have to love Apple and there per­spec­tive on mak­ing tech more  appeal­ing to us, vioce com­mand has been out for years, and it was incon­ve­nient to use (for most of it).…. But then apple come in with their ‘clouded supercomputer-powred lin­guis­tics engine’ and change it all :D

    I always knew clouded com­put­ing was the future, im hop­ing to see super-slim tablets with just an ade­quate inter­net con­nec­tion doing every sin­gle type of task from crunch­ing num­bers to play­ing the lat­est most graph­i­cally intense games.…

    Just hop­ing we get an android (open source) copy of it all too xD

    and as for lytro, I saw it on Gsmarena one day, and told every­one about it instan­ta­neoulsy LOL i won­der if we could go back to an n93i like cam­era with a qual­ity opti­cal zoom, wouldn’t that be nice lol

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  • Anphase

    I really don’t like cloud com­put­ing. I realise it’s the future and all but the idea of data crunch­ing hap­pen­ing away from my device some­where out there is not very appeal­ing. What if they decide to shut down their super com­put­ers and I’m doing some­thing very impor­tant, a life or death pro­gram (ok, that has never hap­pened but hey!). Or they decide to release per­sonal info. I think my prob­lem with it is con­trol. Cloud = some­one can access my info with­out me know­ing it and quite eas­ily too. Maybe I’m just too para­noid :D

    It’s funny how they haven’t released many more phones with opti­cal zoom. Maybe they are wait­ing for Apple to show them how it’s done :-p

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