The application is dead, it just doesn’t know it yet.
When Apple released Siri as your new personal assistant, people clamored for it. At first, she worked a bit like a toddler, stumbling on certain questions and even arguing with my attorney sister. But, it was revolutionary and Siri has been hard at work studying human behavior and is now in high school. Last year, Amazon released Alexa, a chatbot like Siri that sits around your house and does things for you like turn on music and tells you the weather. Google is also jumping in the fray with their new “home” chatbot assistant to be released soon. Each of them in their own levels of education. None have reached high school.
I speak of high school because these chatbots aren’t really seasoned yet. Sure, they can turn on disco music with a voice command and answer simple questions, but they aren’t very sophisticated. Yet. However, soon, they will be helping you manage more and more of your daily life, such as helping to pick out a new shirt for your sister’s birthday party. (Visit tektoons for some humorous comics with a chatbot named Clio.) And the more sophisticated they get, the less you will need to actually login to an application such as Twitter or Facebook.
“Clio, bring up my Twitter feed and show it on my television.”
“Clio, can you order a case of wine for my next party? Pick the top five on Wine Spectator.”
“Clio, call Sara and tell her I will be 10 minutes late to lunch.”
And, the more they learn, the more they can be PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE.
Clio says, “Sherri, it’s going to rain today and you were going to bike to work. You might want to rethink that.”
Clio says, “Sherri, your lunch just got cancelled, so you might want to make something before you leave the house. There is a new recipe that you might want to try from allrecipes.com.”
I could go on, but you get the drift. It really means you may not need to log in to an app, but merely use a chatbot that logins in for you, or if you hate talking or are in a quiet place such as an airplane, you could use what I call an appbot. You already use one in Google, since it is merely a text box that finds information for you. However, appbots will become more sophisticated and personalized to your daily needs and be able to integrate all your apps into one place. These specialized bots will need to:
And that’s about it. Once these appbots graduate from college, the need to have a ton of apps on your smartphone/tablet/computer diminishes to only certain types of apps that really require user interaction. With the appbots, you only need to speak your command or choose the “Do Something” button. There is no need for sophisticated user interfaces, merely a way to understand a question or directive and interact with others. Applications go from interacting with you to interacting with each other. Startups don’t have to worry about what the user sees, just whatever functionality and value add they are creating. Then, they plug that new ‘skill’ into the great bot machine and away they go.
Of course, some applications need an interface, such as a music maker or artistic graphics. Even games. But, for a lot of functional applications, interfaces just don’t matter. Most business apps are more about functionality than a pretty interface. Health and fitness. Lifestyle. Food & Drink. Navigation. Productivity. Reference. Shopping. Travel. Utilities. Weather. Social Networking.
Now, Clio, please make my lunch order, turn off all my devices and close the blinds. I need a nap. Wake me in an hour when the food gets here. Oh, and tell my new robot to start the laundry.