Interconnectivity: A Problem for Apple or a Developing Market?

There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of articles predicting the downfall of Apple Form the launch of the Android to the closed-nature of the app store. Nevertheless, it’s worth pondering how the future of tech might affect the giant, especially given it’s recent successes and ability to set trends in consumer technology.

Apple has excelled at determining the direction taken by consumer products. Jonathan Ive’s simple designs have been continuously aped, while the moment the iPhone was released other manufacturers began to wonder about how handheld touch screens might do without the ubiquitous stylus. It hasn’t all gone Apple’s way though – the app store was introduced in response to a general outcry at Steve Job’s suggestion that HTML5 and Javascript would be a sufficient replacement for native apps.

So I’m curious as to how Apple might handle the increasing prevalence of interconnected technology. They’ve handled multiple platforms relatively well so far, enabling printer sharing and wireless speakers by releasing their own formats. Yet there are a large number of small devices which now connect to wireless networks, computers and platforms.

Apple have already supported a few of these – the Nike+ sensor springs to mind, along with the US store listing for the Nest thermostat.

Nevertheless, there are many small projects either already launched or launching soon which intend to somehow connect with existing technology. The Arduino has become a staple of tech hobbyists, and projects such as Ninja blocks may well have a similar effect. I look forward to seeing what people can do with this sort of technology, especially given Apple’s own work on Siri, but I wonder whether compatibility will ever be an issue. Could I talk to my phone and tell it to warm-up the house as I’ll be home ten minutes early? Could I ask it whether I forgot to turn off the kitchen lights, and then have it turn them off for me?

There’s some great tech being worked on, but I can’t help but wonder whether the closed nature of Apple’s services can cope with it. Even if it can’t, things should get quite interesting, and I suspect they will adjust in time.