Back in 2001, a freelance copywriter named Vinnie Chieco who was hired to help Apple come up with a name for their MP3 player took one look at the device and exclaimed: “Open the Pod Bay Doors, HAL!” And thus, the iPod was christened.
Chieco was making a tongue-in-cheek pop reference to Stanley Kubrick’s transcendental sci-fi masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which a ship’s onboard AI, HAL 9000, makes an evolutionary leap after coming in radio contact with a monolith circling Jupiter. Acting erratically, HAL 9000 eventually lashes out, revealing a murderous new self-preservation instinct when his human charges want to shut him down.
Perhaps because HAL isn’t exactly cinema’s most touchy-feely computer, Apple wasn’t willing to embrace the association between 2001 and the iPod line. But now that HAL’s soothingly detached cadence and artificial intelligence capabilities have been mimicked by Siri, perhaps it’s time to revisit the connection with ThinkGeek’s new Iris 9000 voice control module that will let you Siri from across the room… or trapped on the opposite side of the pod bay doors rocketing through deep space.
Make HAL proud and help Siri touch the monolith. It only costs $59.99.