The Post-PC Era Means Users Have More Computers Per Person

The Apple logo sign on wooden blinds

I like the post-PC era. It’s a cool time that we live in. The televisions are kind of computer-like. Our computers are kind of like smart phones. Our smart phones are kind of like tablets. And our tablets are kinda like our televisions. While this era lasts, I’m going to enjoy it to the fullest.

I remember when my first iMac was practically incompatible with every piece of software known to man. I remember when our phones made phone calls—well, when they just made calls. I remember when the iPod was announced, and everything changed with it (well, actually, I don’t remember its announcement because I was sorta marooned on a rock in Arkansas, but this isn’t the place for that story).

The sooner that users learn there is an invisible bridge between our computing devices the sooner they will appreciate Apple because they are doing a good job of supporting the bridge aforementioned. iCloud is breaking barriers we all face in syncing, merging, and thriving via technology.

I got to thinking about this because of a fabulous piece on GigaOM by Jeffrey Goets. He explains there are three types of users:

  • Those that share a computer with many others
  • Those that have a one-on-one relationship with one computer
  • Those users that have many computing devices

The last of the three kinds, people who have many computers, are the growing population of gadget users. In my case, I have a iPad, an iPhone, two 27-inch iMacs, and a ‘smart’ television (thanks to the AppleTV). Apple is at the head of producing for this group I’m a part of in the post-PC era.

Making each device “aware” of how consumers use all of the other devices they own is the key to accelerating the adoption of more than one computing device. While Apple may in fact be the only company in the world to have constructed a homogeneous synergy between its personal and its ubiquitous computing platform, it is certainly not the only company trying to forge the relationship between the user and the computer chip. For the relationship between consumers and computing devices to become truly invisible, these new smart devices will need to know more and more about the consumers who own them. For instance, the devices will need to know everything consumers have done in the past, what they are doing now and even what they plan on doing later. GigaOM »

This ties into what I wrote about the Nest Thermostat. Computers and computer-operating devices as simple as our thermostats are soon all going to be learning machines. We’re already seeing the signs for this, in the way websites personalize our content feeds to the ‘Genius’ feature in iTunes that finds apps, music, and the like that are recommended to users based on their tastes.