The iPhone, which turns 10 years old today, is arguably one of the most transformative pieces of consumer technology ever created. It kicked off the smartphone boom by putting the first accessible and easy-to-use computer in our pockets, helped usher in entire software industries in just a few years’ time, and obviated the need for scores of single-purpose gadgets, from point-and-shoot cameras to GPS units to MP3 players.
Yet for all the benefits that the iPhone helped deliver, our current level of unprecedented digital connection has left quite a few critics dismayed and concerned over our screen addiction and our inability to go even a few minutes without unlocking our devices. The most surprising among this group happens to be the iPhone’s original creators.
In a talk at design studio IDEO’s Palo Alto headquarters Wednesday evening, former Apple employees Bas Ording, Brian Huppi, and Greg Christie discussed and reflected on the ways in which the device they were instrumental in developing has impacted society. The conversation was led by One Device author and journalist Brian Merchant, and it covered the earliest days of the iPhone’s creation, when the offbeat and wildly creative mixture of engineers and designers initially conceived of a more advanced touchscreen computer prototype using multitouch technology.
“It terms of whether it’s net positive or net negative, I don’t think we know yet,” Christie, who led Apple’s human interface team and oversaw the team’s earliest multitouch demos, told the crowd. “I don’t feel good about the…
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