Not only fanboys but also Wall Street analysts are getting excited about the NEXT BIG THING coming from Cupertino. The iTV is out, the iWatch beautifies some wrists, and the iCar is short of wheels even though Jeff Williams, SVP Operations at Apple, teased:
“The car is the ultimate mobile device.”
On Recode’s <code> conference he also said
“We’re exploring a lot of different markets.”
So what about robots?
The word robotics was derived from the word robot, which was introduced to the public by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which was published in 1920. The word robot comes from the Slavic word robota, which means labour. The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people called robots, creatures who can be mistaken for humans – similar to the modern ideas of androids.
The first digitally operated and programmable robot, the Unimate, was installed in 1961 to lift hot pieces of metal from a die casting machine and stack them. Commercial and industrial robots are widespread today and used to perform jobs more cheaply, or more accurately and reliably, than humans. They are also employed in jobs which are too dirty, dangerous, or dull to be suitable for humans.
Apple and Robotics …
Beside using robots for industrial purposes, home robotics has its early adopters and startups promising interactive robots for the family are raising millions of dollars.
On a time horizon of five years or less, robots could be performing activities ranging from video conferencing and surveillance insider the home, to more sophisticated tasks like daycare and simple chores.
While the integration of robots into consumers’ daily lives won’t be as rapid as smartphones, between Apple’s more ‘hands-off’ approach to personal data (see Apple Pay) and its brand’s strength among US consumers, it may have a leg up on competition needing to establish a reputation as a brand.
Robotics is a business segment which Apple is predestined for. Design, durability, ease of handling, devices that control the new companions through life, and a smooth integration in the existing and secured ecosystem could be the next big thing.
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