Commercial, technology

Advertising, Disability and Apple

A blind person interacts with the new iPhone 4S via Siri

With the news of Steve Jobs passing, I among many others, and those in the advertising industry are mourning. Advertising and Apple are intertwined, in the design and branding of the storied computer giant – and in the computers that are the tools used to design the stories of brands.


You probably have read about the iPhone 4S and Siri, which according to Apple’s website:

lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it.

This short video from Apple shares several vignettes where people interact with the iPhone 4S and Siri – my favorite is the last slice-of-life example.

Truly groundbreaking, this device moves well beyond the earlier, yet still impressive, iPhone accessibility options. For many People with Disabilities (PWD’s), this new software integration will create more connections and opportunities. Although still to early to predict the full impact of Siri, for PWD’s it won’t be just a niche component added to a not so upgraded iPhone. I believe that Siri is a revolutionary tool that will herald more technology breakthroughs allowing for universal design and inclusive benefit for PWD’s and those with full abilities.

You probably have a favorite TV commercial if you are reading this blog and part of the advertising world. If this isn’t your top pick – it should be up there. In 1984, this cinematic masterpiece directed by Ridley Scott and appearing only once, launched both Apple’s Macintosh and denizens of devoted followers.

Steve Jobs’ entrepreneurial innovations, higher design aesthetic and mantra to think differently will continue on. If you consider it, those innovations, design aesthetic and ability to think differently are part of an everyday mindset for People with Disabilities.


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