iPhone OS 3.0 and its accessories piece

Mar 19, 2009

Just watched the iPhone OS 3.0 announcement event. Lots of good stuff. I'm looking forward to it becoming available.

The piece I found most interesting was about accessories. Namely, that you will be able to control any kind of hardware (assuming the hardware provider provides an iPhone app), either wirelessly via Bluetooth or through the Dock connector.

I sometimes stream stuff from my Apple TV through my actual TV, having the TV speakers off and listening to stuff by my wireless headphones, so I can walk around my place and still listen to a podcast or something. And I can control the playback with Apple Remote app from iPhone. It was initially weird to wrap my head around this concept, but it works totally great.

So now this accessories piece generalizes this functionality, letting iPhone become a central control device for everything in the living room and kitchen and other places in your home. I would welcome being able to control my cable box from iPhone instead of using the bad remote and ugly onscreen menus that they have.

I also found it interesting that they demonstrated an insulin reader device that plugs in to your iPhone. Traditionally consumer electronics has steered clear of medical and other critical applications, although consumer-class hardware is nevertheless used a lot in medicine (with most of it being Microsoft/Windows territory). This shift into actual health applications -- not just reference encyclopedias or such, but actually interacting with your body -- was an interesting move.

It was also interesting to watch the insulin reader demo because it's a very clear example of persona- and scenario-driven design. They presented an actual persona profile and their daily scenario on the stage, which of course made me as interaction designer jump with joy because I could identify with that design method.