How smart is the Smart Keyboard?

The Smart Keyboard for my iPad Pro arrived today and I’ve done a quick bit of testing. As for the typing capabilities – not bad at all. The keyboard is pretty responsive to the fingers and well-spaced so even though it was unfamiliar to me, quite a fast speed can be reached and I guess I should get faster the more I use it.
Another plus, folded the keyboard isn’t as bulky on the front of the iPad as I had feared.
Does it turn the iPad into a laptop replacement?
I don’t think so just yet, but it will increase the utility to the point that the device can be used solo in more situations and for longer. iCloud could be the key, as storing documents remotely means a fairly high number of day-to-day uses could increasingly be covered by the Pro providing productivity software like Pages and Numbers continues to grow in sophistication.
Whether this combo amounts to value-for-money, though, is quite another question.

Flying car at last?

The thing most disappointing to life-long technophiles is that the flying car we have always dreamt of never came.

In many ways we far exceeded the dreams of futurists past. The modern smart phone is vastly more powerful and capable than anyone could have predicted and the modern internet is a phenomenon way beyond prediction.

Some things which were predicted did come to pass – Dick Tracy’s wrist radio (Apple – and Android – watch) and Star Trek’s universal translator (Google translate) for example. But no flying car.

At least not until now. At CES this week Chinese company EHang showcased the EHang 184, a human-sized drone designed to take it’s owner at 60 mph for 23 minutes completely automatically.  Obviously there are many, many hurdles to overcome before anyone will actually be able to fly such a device in open sky. But it it does seem to me that this might just be part of the future.

EHang 184
EHang 184 human-sized drone

You only have to watch a movie like The Fifth Element to realise the hopeless impracticality of allowing humans to drive things in three dimensions. But maybe it’s the coming of self-driving cars which will finally allow the flying car to become a reality. If computers can reliably and safely drive us around in two dimensions, why not let them branch out into three. The frameworks necessary to allow self-driving cars to become a reality on our roads would, on the face of it, seem relatively simple to extend to the corridors of sky, too.

So, although EHang seems ridiculously optimistic at the moment, maybe the company is on to something.