Apple Smart Glasses Coming in few days: There are some things Apple just loves, that is design, aluminum, and secrecy. To keep a surprise, it hires former FBI agents, searches more bags than TSA, and disguises its products with fake companies like “IP Application Development Ltd” – IPAD.
But there are some things even the world’s most profitable company can’t hide.
The technology may not seem ready, we may not seem ready, and others have already tried and failed. All of which could be said about the iPhone in 2007.
Of course, acquisitions are just, acquisitions, there are no guarantees, and Apple loves saying no, it does not very often release a new product.
But there is the good reason to think smart glasses are coming, Apple is the perfect company to make them, and now is the time to do it.
If you are at all skeptical, well, you should be. Every other week we hear a new version of the same Madlib: Blank technology is on the verge of radically disrupting the blank industry.
The few experts who see where an industry is really going get drowned out by a sea of companies promoting their ”world-changing” idea. Which makes it pretty tough to predict the future.
So when I say smart glasses, and you say I’ve heard this before, well, I can’t really blame you. But there are still ways of separating a hero from a zero.
The Gartner Hype Cycle explains why new technology seems to come out of nowhere and then disappear with no explanation. Progress is never a straight line, but it’s also not random, it tends to follow a pattern: First, a very primitive prototype gets some attention.
Some technologies die trying to get attention, some are only hype. Virtual Reality is somewhere around here, Far enough we know its viable for games and entertainment.
But while it steals our attention, Augmented Reality quietly moves forward.
Tim Cook even compared its promise to the smartphone.
I mean, listen to how their website describes it: “Imagine if the line between the virtual and the reality did not exist.
Your classroom could become the cosmos. The past could be as vivid as the present. And this is just the beginning. Welcome to a new world.
Why invest so much time and money? Because they know what we don’t: This is just an intermediary between today’s phones and tomorrow’s glasses.
It’s a very clever solution to a big problem: If Apple wants to keep its glasses secret, it can’t tell developers, and apps won’t be ready when it launches.
But what if they could have their cake and eat it too? That’s AR Kit. Developers can start working now, without knowing what’s coming.
Meanwhile, Apple collects feedback and improves the technology.
By the time glasses arrive, they’ll have already proven their value: Directions projected right onto the street, Translation of the world around you, Context for your day, and so on.
Plus, I mean, the product names itself: iSight, EyePod, EyePhone, iGlasses, iWear…come on. Except – none of this is exclusive to Apple.
But most interesting, is Google Glass, and a million reasons why it failed: Like, to do anything, you tilt your head 30 degrees and speak – OK Glass, discreetly take a photo, or, use a touchpad on the side of your head.
It was expensive, poorly marketed, and lacked a compelling feature.
Glass spent years being developed in public. But glasses should be released for quick, mass adoption and acceptance – something Apple might know a thing or two about.
They should also be demoed in person – giving Apple’s 500 retail stores a huge advantage over, say Microsoft’s hundred.
A journalist will wear any piece of glass with a camera taped to it, But Apple designs for the masses – only what can survive the gap.
Which creates two challenges for glasses: First, the technology has to be really good.
The Watch proves they can make small batteries last a whole day and design a tiny but mighty system-on-a-chip, It would need a bright, high-density display like microLED – which it’s already developing.
But then there’s the camera – which brings us to the second challenge: The other kind of optics: it has to be, well… not creepy.
Consumers will think Black Mirror, The Circle, Wall-E, and so on.
Even with Apple’s focus on privacy, these are very real challenges and could delay its release.
But glasses are more than a new product – they’re a critical part of Apple’s strategy: Moving in the direction of more transparent, more personal technology, Because, the smartphone won’t last forever.
The only way a company so dependent on one product can survive is to replace itself, not wait for someone else to.
It’s a philosophy rooted in the company by Steve Jobs, and one reason I recommend his official biography.