Apple just predicted my future

We paid our waiter, walked across the parking lot, and got into the rental car. It was 9:42 PM in Girdwood, Alaska. I pressed the home button on my iPhone to get a new playlist going on Spotify for the drive back to the hotel. "51 minutes to E Dimond Blvd. Traffic is normal right now."

I hadn’t used my maps application to get us out of Anchorage for the afternoon.

I hadn’t asked for driving directions during the day.

I wasn’t asking for directions now.


Talk about an ambitious feature in iOS 9.

I was so far out of a normal routine that my behavior didn’t closely fit any of my personal patterns. First, I’m on my first-ever trip to Alaska. Even at home 3,804 miles away, what I consider my normal routine isn’t entirely predictable. Some days I work from home, some days I’m in bed at 8:00... you get the picture.

Second, I’d stopped at a dozen spots from coffee shops to a wildlife refuge to a ski resort over the nine hours leading up to this. Only after dinner did this message show. Why didn’t the software predict I wanted to return to Anchorage after I’d left a coffee shop in Whittier around 5:00?

There’s so much complexity in doing this right (and no, I don’t think it’s dumb luck), my head is spinning.

How far away are we from truly useful prediction in the digital banking space? And how blurred can the lines get between traditional banking and the holy grail for PFM - to provide more than relevant data and analysis - to give us a lens into our future behavior so that we can manage our finances better. I’m ready to see:

Happy hour ends in five minutes.

Here’s a coupon for 15% off an item found in this week’s local mailer for the store you just entered.

The road ahead requires tolls, and you may need cash since you’re an out-of-towner. There’s an ATM at the next exit.