Steve Jobs Last Legacy, Siri

As the world’s most influential icon in business and technology, Steve Jobs leaves behind decades of personal trademarks. Steve Jobs had a vision to change the world and he lived that vision right up to his final days.  Steve Jobs transformed our lives further and faster than many of us were able to keep up with.

Steve Jobs’ legacy isn’t how he changed Apple Computers into Apple. It isn’t how he revived Apple Computers with iMac and iBook,  Mac OS X and iOS, or how he revolutionized the music industry with iTunes and the App store. Although those are all amazing achievements, Steve Jobs should be remembered for fundamentally and forever changing the role of mobile devices.  Jobs altered how we humans interact with mobile technology, information, and content, on the go. Mobile in many ways is, Steve Jobs.

Before the iPhone, mobile technology was limited to certain gaming devices, RIM’s Blackberry and the Palm. Jobs took his own vision of touch-screen interaction, ignoring the “nay sayers”, and launched the iPod in 2001, followed by the iPhone in 2007, and iPad in 2010. In one decade, Apple forever changed how we interact with content and information through a touch screen interface.

From music to videos, the way we interact, capture, watch, and listen to content has forever changed culture, society, and individual lives. Some may argue or see it differently, but to the masses, the world is a better place because of Steve Jobs. Today’s startups such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare all have Steve Jobs to thank for reinventing the way people interact or connect with mobile devices.

In 2010, Jobs again made a daring move, acquiring Siri for $20 million.  Consumers may knock the iPhone 4S as a minor upgrade, but 20 years from now, I believe we’ll look back at Siri as teve Jobs last, but most important innovation. Siri is potentially a game changing app that enables us to interact with our phones in more human and intelligent ways.


Yes, you can now talk into your phone and get an intelligent answer.

Need a reminder when you get home? It does that too.

We’ve heard that companies have been testing artificial intelligence in technology from fridges to consumer electronics, but Apple is one of the first to hit the mainstream market with such capabilities.

Next up? Most likely the TV with integrated voice commands. For example,

“Please turn on TV and change channel to CBS for Two and a Half Men”

Or what about a voice command PVR?

“Pause TV.”
“Rewind and show in slow replay.”

Goodbye remote.

You get the point. Once again, consumer electronics is about to change – and change the way we live in a busy mobile world. Business is going to need to change, too. Processes will need to be put in place that allow employees to respond to voice review boards instead of online review boards that require typing (think  TripAdvisor and Google Places). Siri is strictly seen as an “Assistant” to the user right now. In the near future, a Siri API will likely be released allowing developers to build Siri enabled apps. At that point, business will need to adapt again to an evolution in the intimacy and speed of communication that allows customers to voice their opinions, good or bad, to companies and other consumers.

As Wayne Gretzky famously put, “Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it is.” Steve Jobs skated ahead throughout his career and in so doing changed the world.

Photo credit: Jonathan Mak