The iPhone 4S was released last week. Of course, people were camping out at Apple stores to buy it. Of course, Apple sold a zillion of them in the first five minutes. Of course, you already have one, and you're probably reading this blog on it.
There are several reasons why iPhones are so popular. The first is that they inspire feelings of genuine affection. The second is that your iPhone is more fun to hang out with than your friends. Seriously, think about it. Your friends were never that great to begin with, and now iPhones are clearly way more interesting.
Case in point: the iPhone 4S has speech recognition and voice software, as well as an attitude. This lets you talk to the phone and listen to its answers. Naturally, this has sent the iPhone fanboys and girls into a frenzy, asking all kinds of weird questions. For example, ask the phone to “Open the pod bay doors” and it responds with a HAL voice, “I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Or if you say, “I love you,” it responds with, “I bet you say that to all your Apple products.”
There’s even a website that collects clever iPhone dialogue. I mean, seriously. . . this is almost as good as the Magic 8 Ball.
In any case, quickly, before phones kill off any remaining interest in home theater, A/V receiver manufacturers need to install sarcasm into their products. For example, it would be great if you were sitting in your La-Z-Boy watching a flick, and your home theater started talking:
“Dude, do you realize this is a chick flick, or are you too stupid to notice?”
“Ewwwww, what’s that smell? I really think you need a new carpet.”
“I wish I had been purchased by someone with a nice home.”
“Hey fat boy, Ben & Jerry’s called and they’re out of ice cream.”
“While you were out drinking last night, your girlfriend was on the sofa grinding on some guy from New Jersey.”
“For the love of Pete, put on some pants.”
Frankly, I think the idea of talking receivers is brilliant. In a flash, people would stop wasting time with their phones and start wasting time with their home theaters. This would save the A/V industry. Moreover, in a few years, when the human race is extinct, your phone will have someone to talk to.
Ken C. Pohlmann is well known as an audio educator, consultant, and author. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, and the author of numerous articles and books, including Principles of Digital Audio and Master Handbook of Acoustics.
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