Who invented the iPhone? If you said Steve Jobs, you would be partially correct. Actually, neither Jobs nor Apple have invented much of anything. Job’s genius was in packaging technology to appeal to an audience of people he understood. He did it with the Apple computer, the McIntosh, the iMac, the iPad, and the iPhone.
There were lots of MP3 music players on the market prior to the iPad, but Apple made it smaller and sexier. The appeal is in the presentation, as any good chef will know. Jobs was an extraordinarily good cook.
The iPhone is basically a wireless communications device, such as that used in Star Trek by the intrepid Captain Kirk aboard the Starship Enterprise. The writers of Star Trek doubtless got their inspiration from the cartoon, Dick Tracy, whose 2-Way Wrist Radio was the dream of every school age kid in the 1940’s and 1950’s. It was later upgraded to a Wrist-TV in the 1960’s. This kind of sounds like an iPhone, only sexier.
What inventors have done is to follow their dreams. These dreams were spoon fed to these guys by fiction writers in the 60’s and 70’s. These authors got their inspiration from earlier writers. The point is that some ideas have been around for a long time, just waiting for technology to catch up to imagination.
Science fiction has spawned lots of ideas, including a partial list as follows:
- Artificial joints.
- Artificial limbs.
- Artificial hearts.
- Organ transplants.
- Space travel.
- Communications devices.
- Space based telescopes (The Hubble).
- Travel to the moon.
- Travel to the planets.
- Brain implants.
Brain implants? Yep, they are real and they are here. Well, they are in the labs being developed.
There was a recent television show on one of the cable channels showing the latest achievements in cyber-aids for victims of accidents who had lost their limbs or eyesight. They all involved direct connectons to the human body, and in the case of a sight aid, directly to a blind person’s brain.
Scientists in studying the functioning of the human body and its nervous system are trying to harness current current technologies to augment the human body. We just hope that they can be the kind of imaginative chef Jobs was.