Who am I?


My name is Romain Choulet, I am 22 years old and I will soon be graduating from my engineering school, E.I.S.T.I, known now as CyTech. I am really interested in embedded systems and more particularly in connected objects, like smartphones, smart watches, smart glasses, and other technological jewels.
Is there a better way to see the future? I like to believe that in ten years, embedded systems and connected objects will be all around us and at any moment of our lives. And I wish to be part of it.

Do you remember your first technological "wow"-experience? Just like for the older generation, when computers became more accessible and everyone could have one at home? Personally, I do. Mine was the day when my mother showed me and my siblings her new professional mobile: a little black box, without any keys! It was the first time that I saw that kind of device. We were in 2008, maybe 2009, and it was the first iPhone; computers had become even more accessible and everyone could have one in their pocket. Ever since Apple products have always fascinated me.


Many years after that, I was introduced to the fantastic world of computer science by my father who tried to show me the power of computing and coding. I was passionate to create things, whether drawing, painting, crafts, etc. So I saw it as a new form of expression of my creativity, and I started to conceive some video games, from copies of Space invaders to more complex games. That is why I decided to study Computing Science: explore and create more things. I learned how to properly code, and how to play with software.

I later discovered iWoz, the amazing autobiography of Steve Wozniak, written jointly with Gina Smith; it induced in me a profound interest in all "hardware" aspects of Computer Science. I started to read a lot about microprocessors and microcontrollers, and I began to build my own connected systems (for example, I created an app on iOS that could interact with small embedded systems, to light up LEDs) essentially with Arduino and RaspberryPi.

iWoz by Steve Wozniak and Gina Smith, 2006

This real interest in the two faces of Computer Science has brought me to choose "Embedded Systems" as third-year option in my engineering school because it was impossible for me to chose one over the other, and it was the only way to do both hardware and software at the same time. And especially, the "engineer mind-state" that Steve Wozniak explains in his book inspired me wanting to create objects that could improve our way of life; this is why I became interested in connected objects. As I said, is that a better way to see the future?

Why Apple?

I mentioned that I am particularly interested in Apple and its development environment. But why? This is very simple.
Back in the '60s and '70s, computers were essentially reserved for professional use: it means that the target user group were trained staff, with a high degree of technical expertise. But ever since the first personal computers which were developed at the end of the '70s and even more nowadays, the user group targeted became virtually anybody, even people with very limited technical skills. In my opinion, this raises two essential points :

• Firstly, computers are no longer only professional tools. It means that, like all other personal products, the design has become as important as performances. No one would want a Maserati or a Ferrari, as powerful as they are if they didn't have the shape and design they are known for. I think that Apple was one of the first brands to understand that the same is true for computers and any other technological device. We can prove it easily: nowadays, everyone could recognize a MacBook or an iMac in the blink of an eye, more than any computer from any other brand, due to their distinctive design. We no longer spoke of a Computer or a telephone, each name became the reference: iPhone, Mac, etc. Furthermore, each new Apple product has an innovative design and becomes a source of inspiration for other brands.

• Secondly, do users still know enough about computers? I love this famous Steve Jobs' citation, "People don't know what they want until you show it to them", because it says so many things. Apple is one of the few brands that provides "all-in-one" devices, whether software or hardware. On the software side, when a user buys a Mac, he is sure to have all the tools he needs to do pretty much whatever he wants to because he will have softwares to create music, edit text, edit videos, code, ... This is a talent enhancer for users: one day, he decides to write a book? He can. Another day, he wants to compose music? He can. Just the sight of all these softwares can awaken a new vocation! Furthermore, this user knows that his Apple devices will interact in the most perfect way: he can take a picture with his iPhone, work on it with his iPad, and include it in a Page document on his MacBook.
On the hardware side; as I mentioned above, the typical user is no longer the skilled professional but is most likely to be incapable of determining how many cores his CPU needs or which graphic card he needs, with which display screen? The Apple response is not to give users choice in hardware, but to give them the best of all and fit it together; it creates multitask devices and opens a vast field of possibilities.

Apple "Think different" logo, 1997

The "Think Different" advertising slogan used between 1997 and 2002 is really interesting too. I personally understand it not only as an invitation to have new and innovative ideas but also as an invitation to step out of the comfort zone, to take risks, and get started. Many people have new ideas and projects, but most of them never start to realize them. Apple follows directly this way of thinking, like when in 1976 Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs started to sold their first Apple I printed boards, or more recently with the switch to ARM architecture microprocessors. For me, innovation is daring, and Apple empowers people by giving them all the tools they need.

About computing and coding, Apple continues to provide tools to help developers to create more and more. For example, the new SwiftUI is so smart and convenient that iOS Apps development has become objectively incomparable to other OS Apps development. It has become easily accessible to apply AI algorithms or AR thanks to new softwares, but also thanks to new hardwares, like with the new M1 chips for Mac or the LiDAR on new iPhones.