iHomes, iHealth and I'm new at this...

Gidday - for those who don't know me I'm Chris O'Connell and I'll be the voice of TUANZ for the next 4 months until Craig Young begins the role. (It says I'm Paul because I'm coming to grips with our CMS!)

I've been around TUANZ for quite a while, I started out judging the TUANZ interactive awards and ended up on the board mainly looking after our policy work, but I've also had a stint as the chair.

So TUANZ is now coming to you over Snap VDSL from Whitby in #gigatownporirua!

For the last few years I've been in the habit of getting up early on or around this date to watch the keynote address at Apple's annual developer conference the WWDC, normally I've been doing this for 2 reason's the first is that I am an unreconstructed fanboy (I'm so old I date back to using original Mac's in the Otago University economics department in the early 80's!) and the second reason is that Apple has always helped my digital trendspotting by being an awesome bellwether on the things that real do make a difference.

This year I have the added incentive of seeing how this all translates into the telecommunications space here in NZ.

And I see Apple endorsing 3 bigs trend in the years ahead:

The first is with their announcement of more features for their 'message' and 'iMessage' the commodification of voice telephony and text messaging continues with calling and texting via iPhones now integrated into the Mac OS, so it won't be long before we see the same from Google (probably via the Chrome browser) and Microsoft (Skype everywhere?).

The next big announcement gives the 'internet of things' a boost with the release of 'Homekit' a series of tools for 'Smarthome' developers and applications to integrate on iOS devices and offer us the possibility of Jetson's style living in the 21st century.

And finally the release of the much rumoured 'Healthbook' app and accompanying 'Healthkit' development environment. A few years ago Wired magazine coined the term 'self quantifiers' to describe those who capture data about themselves, analyse it and use it as the basis for many forms of self improvement. 

This has already gone from wacky, to leading edge and is heading for mainstream. And for me personally recent events have got me on board! I've recently become an Insulin Dependent Diabetic! this means I now test my blood sugar frequently, manage insulin injections and have embarked on a new fitness and nutrition regime. So I started looking for apps to help and there are plenty (I use Glooko for blood glucose tracking, Map my fitness for training and some specialised apps to help me with my 2015 half marathon goal) and the truth is that the data does become a little addictive!

Where today's announcements fit in is that these apps will acquire the ability to talk to each other and the new 'Healthbook' will become my personal dashboard - its all a bit scary and yes I can see a dark side (several in fact, privacy, security and data integrity spring to mind) but there is a huge upside for people wanting to lead long healthy lives.

I can give my clinicians and trainers access to relevant data and can tune my programs as my needs change.

This brings up one final current interest of mine and that is the emerging world of low power sensors and programmable switches, servo's and actuators that will bring all my 60's era childhood fantasies of the future into affordable reality!

I'm looking forward to telling Siri to turn the lights on (or off!) mow the lawn and vacuum the house!

The other big number to reflect on is that there are now over 800 million iOS devices in pockets, bags and drawers all over the world!

And we can be certain that Google and Microsoft will follow suit with similar announcements.

Isn't the best time ever to be using all this stuff?