Thursday, June 10, 2010

Abstraction not Distraction

What I love about Apple and Steve Jobs  is their ongoing ability to tease out subtlety in our affections to reap enormous rewards.  This difference between merely  exploiting new technical improvements to make an electronics gadget better and leveraging the emotional connections and experiences that the electronic gadget makes simple and possible is how Apple continues to  drive demand for its products. Yup, I used the word experience because the easier and faster I get that experience, the happier I am. 

Upon reading the comments following a recent Mashable post on  yesterday's announcement at Apple's World wide Web Developer's conference,  I noticed how neatly they fall into this divide.
Apple Introduces iAds: “Mobile Ads with Emotion”

Yes, no one likes  pop-up ads but I interpreted the complaints more as limitations, manifest in  their inability to grasp abstraction. Pop-ups are distracting and that's why we tend to get annoyed and ultimately go out of our way to ignore them or change our browser settings to block them.  I believe, please correct me if I'm wrong, that the iAds are not serving up pop-ups...instead they are intended to evoke a memory, an emotion or conjure up an experience.  Not a distraction, rather an abstraction--defined as:

1. an abstract or general idea or term.
2. the act of considering something as a general quality or characteristic, apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances.
3. an impractical idea; something visionary and unrealistic.

As MIT Technology review expressed  "Ephemeral info-nuggets are the Web's new currency."  Apple will once again show us the way. 

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