Via @jarrod, originally from Kev Quirk:

🔗 When Was the Last Time Tech Blew Your Mind? // Kev Quirk

The first time I sent an email was really cool. The performance and battery life of my M1 Mac was (is) very impressive; far better than any laptop I’ve ever had before. But I’m not talking about impressive. I’m talking about the kind of impression that makes you say, “holy shit, that’s fucking incredible!”

For me, it was the Vision Pro introduction. The interaction model, the visuals, and the use cases were utterly compelling, and the raw technology necessary left me astonished. Can’t wait.

Kev’s bar is pretty dang high– the first time he saw text messaging? I have had my mind absolutely blown multiple times since then. Off the top of my head:

  1. The iPod Nano (more than the original iPod– I had a Archo Jukebox and knew what carrying a harddrive was like)
  2. The iMac G4
  3. The first time I saw the Compiz rotating cube when switching desktops on Linux
  4. Opening a bash terminal on Mac OS X
  5. Retina displays, but especially when they came to Mac
  6. HDTV, and then again with OLED and 4K.
  7. The iPhone– literally everything about the iPhone through the iPhone 5, and then again around the time of the iPhone Xish when the cameras got truly great. I remember watching cyberpunk anime in the 90s that invisaged things like the iPhone and an always connected internet and thinking that the beige computer in my household den with a dial up modem would never fit in my pocket– not in my lifetime.
  8. TouchID and FaceID
  9. Distributed version control systems

I could go on and on.

A ton has happened in my life time that absolutely blew my mind. Most of the time, I suspect Kev might look at the above and say “something like this could have been imagined before it existed.” That’s true! I did imagine some of this! But also, most of these things executed something I had a fictional version of in my mind that I thought was impossible– and then the real world out did that.

Jarrod, on the other hand, seems to have a bar that’s a bit low for me. I might be blown away by the Vision Pro. I kind of hope I am. But I find it hard to get excited about things I haven’t touched. Maybe that’s because I read far too much Popular Science as a kid and a lot of what I have expected to see in the world never shipped.

But what’s my actual answer?

I had to think for a bit. Funny enough, I think both of the experiences that come to mind are Apple Watch related, even though I think it’s my least important device.

The first was using Apple Pay from my Apple Watch. Double tap, no phone in sight, fastest payment experience I’ve ever had at a store. The second is using my Apple Watch with a Home Key lock. Just raise my wrist, no other input necessary, and my door opens, fast. Small, delightful, fast interactions with the physical world seem to be the technology innovations today that feel the most impressive.