Your iPhone Will Someday Be as Sensitive as You Are
Tuesday gave us what I am dubbing a "patent dump." Can you blame me? The U.S. Patent Office released 56 patents from Apple. 56! Among them, there are patents confirming Apple is working on embedded Touch ID, edge-to-edge displays, and a 3D camera system (surprise, surprise). Some of those things we've heard rumors on for some time, but what is new is one of the patents hidden amongst the bunch, describing an Apple-made avatar system. One whose end-goal is to reflect your current emotional state at all times. NOTHING TO SEE HERE, HUMANS. MOVE ALONG!
Based on the patent, Apple is designing these avatars to respond to "trigger events" set by the user. These trigger events could include certain emoticons ( :( = Jake is sad ), phrases, actions, etc. The point is, the system is set to learn from you to reflect how you currently feel. Instead of seeing the same, perfectly-crafted always-smiling avatar every minute of the day, friends will tune in to see how you are really doing. A reflection generated based on your online activity.
Am I the only one who is just a little wary of this? I mean, the internet isn't supposed to be a place to show how you're actually feeling! Instagram, Facebook, Twitter ... We're all expected to prove how awesome our lives are. I don't need my friends checking in to see my Apple avatar while it's curled up in a ball and eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's.
CGP Grey, a popular educational YouTube creator, argues our phones know more about us than we do, and that we would rather people see the contents of our brain than the contents of our phones. These avatars might not quite be giving all the contents of your phone just yet but, in my mind, they sure are sharing more than some of us would like.