When I was about eight, my family moved to a new apartment building in the city. It was a newer building with four-stories and an attic, which, at three per story +1 for the attic, we shared with a total of 12 families. The young couple up on third was deaf (and they managed to be the least noisy anyway).
A few months after they had their first baby, we were at their place visiting, when we noticed the baby was crying. He was all red and waved his arms back and forth, big tears streaking his plumpy cheeks. Yet, no sound. I was a kid, a very curious one at that. So I asked: why isn't the baby making any sounds?
"Because he knows we wouldn't be able to hear him," was the answer.
The baby was completely normal. He could hear, and scream. He just knew that screaming would get him nowhere with his parents. It is just amazing how incredibly smart our brains are; they learn from the environment. There was the evidence in this tiny human being.
Can technology, what I call the dry system vs. the brain's wet system, be as smart?
Siri is the new feature that has given everyone something to talk about on the new iPhone 4S. The best part - it talks back. What is Siri? It's artificial intelligence made simple. If it's true that silence has a sound, sound is now the new white space.
From the Apple Website: Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back.
Siri does a lot of things. It is not the only indication that sound is what's next.
According to Mary Meeker, now at KPCB, sound is the new frontier. A new crop of devices are getting you connected to sound in the car, with your friends, and with a higher quality listening and talking experience.
On Google+, we talked about how audio offers a convenience that video does not - it is more portable, as in the scenarios shown in the slide.
It is also all around us. The auditory function is the only one that is never turned off -- unless there is a problem. Thus this is a channel that matures and becomes very sophisticated quickly in babies. They are able to detect tone -- as in "I'm in trouble now" or "mom loves you very much" -- from being able to tell which noises are warnings, and which ones are welcoming.
I'm looking into a few more resources and data points on implications for the bonus issue of the Premium Newsletter. Subscribe now and you will still get the October bonus issue.
Will sound be bigger than video? What are you thoughts?
Where would you prefer to consume information and content in audio format vs. video in addition to your car during commute time and exercise? I was never a radio person, maybe you were. Do you save podcasts to listen to while making breakfast, for example?
[video: hat tip Maria Popova]