Apple Inc. (AAPL): How iTunes Inspires Another Industry

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iTunes isn’t just for media content, it’s also for inspiring other industry giants in transforming other seemingly-unrelated spaces.

The idea that products from companies such as at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) affect more industries than can initially be imagined was apparent from a talk given by Greg Petroff, head of user experience General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), at the WIRED by Design conference where he demonstrated the advances made by his company in making the lives of field engineers – the people, he said, who made the world stay on course – better.

Field engineers, who Petroff said work in some of the most difficult situations one can imagine, are directly benefiting from the industrial app design being pushed by people in companies the likes of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), the executive said.

“These folks who work in these environments, we haven’t really developed software tools for them. They’re late to the technology revolution. And they’re not really software people, they’re craftsmen. They treasure their tools. They treasure the experience of having an intimate relationship with a machine that they service and they become sort of connected to them. In a way, they are sort of the machine whisperers of our industrial world,” he said.

At a later part of the talk, Petroff showed off an app which was borne of his team’s work to build better-designed applications for field engineers. At General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), he said that they built a platform to get developers making applications for industrial workers as well as have engineers themselves make applications for their specific jobs.

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The executive’s team’s work takes this field’s processes to the cloud. He talked about machines talking to each other so that maintenance engineers, for example, would automatically be prompted about what needed to be done just by going near a specific machine or part of a machine.

One of the application that did just this was demonstrated by Petroff and he directly compared its interface with that of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iTunes. He said that in order to use this app, one just needs to know how to swipe up, down, left and right, even with gloves on.

“[This application] is a very simple application that allows a field engineer to have everything that he needs. We build these micro-applications [that are] very small – byte-sized – and if I walk up to a piece of equipment, the system will assemble those micro-applications automatically into a playlist. It’s sort of like when you go to the gym and you have your iTunes list of music you’re going to listen to, we can create a list of software as media and put that together to make the perfect experience for a field engineer,” he said.

He also said that he and his team found out that great design as well as showing and demonstrating that they could make the lives of people in these fields better lead to the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPads given as test devices to field engineers becoming very cared for devices as the engineers considered them to be valuable because they made their jobs easier.

Watch the interesting WIRED by Design talk below.

Shareholders of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), the maker of the iPhone and other hit consumer electronics products, includes Carl Icahn’s Icahn Capital Lp which reported about 52.76 million shares in the company by the end of the first half of the year.