As reported by the Wall Street Journal, new research from Forrester explores the kind of products Apple could introduce in the next five years. And while the report’s packed-full of speculation, there’s elements within it that may be worth pondering.
For example, the researchers believe it’s possible Apple could introduce a range of Mac-enabled digital picture frames. These could, for example, connect to .Mac or other online image galleries to display new images uploaded by friends, or could randomly show images selected from a user’s own iPhoto library. These screens could also include speakers and be capable of playing music or video clips, and could be touch sensitive so viewers can flip to different images at will.
Forrester also predicts an Apple clock radio, once again connected to iTunes. A highly-sophisticated Apple remote control is also speculated upon, equipped with a screen this would let users browse their iTunes collections as they wander round their home, playing music through their selection of iTunes-enabled speakers.
Underpinning all such dreams of a digital dwelling, the researchers also imagine Apple may introduce new services for the home, such as an in-home installation service, in which Genius Bar type operatives would visit people’s homes to design and install the appropriate multimedia set-up.
Sure – all these things are speculation; and Apple’s staying silent on such rumour and conjecture, but what else can we imagine? Home automation systems controlled from an iPhone? Electronic wallets? Small but powerful Wi-Fi-enabled speakers that can be placed around the home, offering direct access to a user’s iTunes collection and controlled by an Apple remote or iPhone? Television sets containing an Apple TV?
Mind boggles. Anything’s possible – but that doesn’t always make it probable.