Apple watchers, myself included, look over the horizon to see what the future might bring. More often than not, we’re dead wrong, unless someone at Apple or a supplier leaks little tidbits of truth. If the iPhone is the latest great thing, and if it’s a Mac in your pocket, then what of the next generation Mac? How about scratch and sniff? Or, rather, touch screen and sniff?
How much has the Mac changed since 1984? Plenty. And not so much.
The Mac is faster, less expensive, color screen, better hardware in every corner, more applications, utilities, and games, and nearly everyone everywhere knows what a Mac is.
How is the Mac of today different than the Macs of yesteryear? Despite Unix Inside and Intel Inside, not much. A Mac is easy to use, durable, secure, and comes with a personality.
Everything else has changed in the past 25 years except our love for Cupertino’s finest.
2009 is merely another milestone along the path of evolution, not revolution.
Macs today are a premium product for discriminating tastes. A comparison of Mac models today reveals a long, slow, inevitable evolution from point and click, circa 1984, to large screen point and click in color, circa today.
The Mac was a Mac then, and it’s a Mac now, but, arguably, it isn’t a whole lot different than the original, though a steady improvement on the Xerox Star heritage of the 20th century.
If Macs of the past 25 years are merely evolutionary changes from the original, is it even possible to have a revolutionary new Mac?
Sure, we’d all like to see a small MacBook with a multi-touch screen, WiFi, wireless keyboard and mouse, 24-hour batter life, and hybrid OS X, capable of running Mac OS X and iPhone OS X, both at the same time.
But revolutionary? No, that would require scratch and sniff Macs. Dennis Sellers of Macsimum News asks the correct question.
Wouldn’t it be great if the company came out with a Mac that would move that many units in a weekend?
Yes, that would be news, and likely, something revolutionary would occur in the process. To sell a million Macs in a weekend to match the million iPhone 3GS models sold in a weekend would require something remarkable—a much less expensive Mac.
Or, perhaps scratch and sniff.
The Future is Smell
Dennis and I agree that the iPhone is merely a new generation Mac that happens to fit in your pocket. Still, it’s an evolutionary move from Mac to cell phone.
Even the futuristic mockups of see-through Macs, screens, keyboards, are merely evolutionary changes from the clear plastic Mac screens of yesteryear, even the Cube.
How about a Mac with a foldable screen? Sure, why not? But why and how is that revolutionary? It’s not, hence the future is smell.
Enter scratch and sniff high technology from ScenTech Technologies. Sure, all seriousness aside, why not have a scent generator in the next Mac? Sellers:
How about a Mac with a scent generator that can release everything from popcorn smells as if the computer user were at the movies to beach scents to accompany the sound of water or music.
I see all sorts of opportunities for the food industry, the travel industry, and the porn industry, with a Mac that smells (so to speak). Combine the aromatherapy of Mac ownership with Surround Sound, maybe Apple TV, and onscreen entertainment that brings the smell of CSI right into the living room. Sellers again:
The question, of course, is if it’s possible for Apple to make a revolutionary—and I mean a truly revolutionary Mac, not just an evolutionary one—at a price point that would tempt millions of current or new users.
Revolutions are not so easy these days, and they don’t last as long. The iPhone is already, arguably, the most recent revolutionary Mac. A scent disseminating Mac? I won’t hold my breath.