Why Apple Airplay is like the Oxo Salad Spinner

Why Apple Airplay is like the Oxo Salad Spinner

Yesterday Apple announced a slew of new products. From the new Macbook Air to the next generation Macbook Pro with Retina display. Tucked within the more than 400 new features announced for OS X and iOS was another gem – Airplay mirroring support for the OS X.

For years now Apple has allowed you to seamlessly project audio from your iPhone, iPad and Mac to any Airplay enabled device. More recently video support was added, so that crisp 1080p video could play from your iPad to Apple TV. Airplay mirroring from your Mac takes this a step further. You can now mirror your entire desktop on an Airplay enabled device. This will be a boon to for folks giving business presentations – I’m already imaging all the great 3rd party accessories to make this seamless, like this airplay enabled projector. It also enables wonderful experiences at home, whether it’s sharing photos with friends, or finally watching all the web video you never could on the big screen – I’m looking at you Comedy Central.

Yet I digress,

Why is Apple Airplay like the Oxo Salad Spinner?

Most of the technologies that make my daily life better are “old” – electric lights, clean running water, refrigeration, the automobile. To make your life better – the great unfulfilled promise of most modern technology. Computers promised us a life abundant with free time, yet we are slaves to them – spending our days emailing and writing documents. Even when we leave the office, we are chained to work. Abundance has turned to scarcity.

Even recent new technology fails. Facebook promised to connect us in deeper and more meaningful ways. Yet by many accounts it is making us lonely and leaving us isolated.

I believe that the last new technology to deliver on it’s promise was the humble voice only cellphone. Since then we have been enticed by grand empty promises. We run towards them in hopeful naivete.

We look for life changing and miss the magic moments

As an aspiring raw foodist I spend a lot of time making salads, complete with ingredients I never knew existed just a few years ago. For my birthday this year my mom bought me a wonderful device – the Oxo Salad Spinner. It’s a simple thing – it helps to dry lettuce and other ingredients in preparation for making a delicious salad. Yet every time I use it, I smile. It saves me a few minutes, is simple to use and easy to clean. There’s also something captivating about it spinning around and around with the press of a button I won’t lie 🙂

Before this gift I could still make salad. It didn’t change what I could do. It didn’t really impact most of the rest of my life. A life I still spend chained to ever smaller computing devices. It did something just as precious –  it gave me a magic moment, every time I used it.

Airplay is about magic moments

Whenever I pick up my iPad and play music through my home stereo I smile. I love listening to music, and Airplay has brought all the music I could ever want right to my home. Seamlessly. Easily. When I go to my bedroom it’s two taps to get music playing from the speakers in my bedroom hooked up to my Airport Express. And I smile.

Thanks to Airplay, I listen to music more often and with more diversity than I ever could. Airplay hasn’t changed my life, but it has blessed me with many magic moments. I expect when OS X Mountain Lion arrives I will have many more magic moments.

Lofty promises will eventually end up as disappointment, but every product can deliver a magic moment. A moment that makes your user smile. A feature that makes their life better in one small aspect. It may seem insignificant, but I believe it is one of the highest ideals those in the technology industry can aspire to.

What products have left you with magic moments?

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Gaurav Lochan
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Gaurav Lochan

I absolutely agree, i had felt the same and written about it on quora a while ago
http://www.quora.com/Software/What-is-the-most-magical-software/answer/Gaurav-Lochan

Vanessa Howell
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Awesome, I knew I couldn’t be the only one 😉

Al Dimond
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I think this thing is currently leading as the most magical thing I own: http://www.avenirusa.com/parts-and-accessories/tools/cable-tools/third-hand-cable-puller.html If you take its name, “Third Hand”, at face value you’ll surely be disappointed in any endeavor that doesn’t involve working with cables on a bicycle. A lot of the most impactful technology really delivers frustrating experiences much of the time. Maybe we become jaded to its magic. When I was growing up I didn’t fly much, as most of my family lived within driving distance of Chicago. In my early 20s I took a flight from Chicago to LA with my parents. Our flight… Read more »

Vanessa Howell
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Wow, if you gave me one of those Al I wouldn’t even know what to do with it 🙂 I think that also brings up a good point, that what is magic depends on what you’re passionate about. Is magic perhaps the intersection of the delightful unexpected with passion?

It’s a good point on flight – sometimes I look out the window of a plane and marvel that we take for granted something which humankind has dreamt about for centuries. We grumble and complain about something so miraculous those before us could barely conceive of it.