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There are some things Apple just loves, design,
aluminum, excuse me... 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.

This is a list of companies acquired by Apple.
Most make perfect sense - Authentec became
Touch ID, Siri, well, Siri, But, around two

thousand fourteen, you start to see a pattern:
First, a company creating tiny, super-bright,
high-density displays.,

Then one specializing in eye-tracking, an
augmented reality headset, and a couple AR

software startups.
Plus a handful of patents and job descriptions,
all suggesting the same thing: smart, augmented

reality glasses.
Directions, the weather, really anything,
projected right onto your vision.

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 doesn't very often release a new
product.

But there's 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're 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 blank industry.
Watch out!
We're about to reinvent wearable blockchains,
or leverage proactive mesh networks, and the

world will never be the same
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.

The media, desperate for clicks, jumps right
over its flaws to its best-case scenario,

10, 15 years from now.
And not just in tech, A dietary study with
a tiny sample size became the headline “Why

You Must Eat Chocolate Daily”.
That's what you and I see.
So we're inevitably disappointed when we
get a glimpse of reality.

Then, while we've mostly forgotten about
it, real progress is made.

This is where r/Futurology claims it can cure
cancer, This is where you add “Blockchain”

to the name of your Ice Tea company, boosting
its stock 200%, and this is when we're told

it's coming in 3-5 years, every…
3-5 years.
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.

Sure, it's earlier and more uncertain.
But its potential is much, much bigger.
And Apple seems to agree:
It's been a huge focus of the company since
iOS 11.

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 real simply didn't 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.”
That's pretty… bold for what's currently
just a few games and the ability to sample

IKEA furniture.
Of course, all of this is brand new, But even
if there are really great apps in a year or

two,
There's one, huge problem: For it to work,
you constantly have to hold up your phone,

or dare I say, 13 inch iPad.
It's just… awkward.
AR is kind of the new drone - incredibly hyped,
And sure, it's fun for a minute or two,

but only practical for a few, specific applications.
Unless, Apple knows this.
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 ARKit.
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.
In fact, some company called “Google”
kinda already tried this.

Why would Apple be any more successful?
Apple is rarely the first to do something,
and glasses would be no exception,

Microsoft introduced the Hololens in 2015,
there's Magic Leap

And Intel Vaunt, Snapchat Spectacles, sold
from a vending machine somehow uglier than

the app itself, and the Vue, Get it?
Because vue… rhymes with blew, as in they
really blew it, naming their company a pun

Okay, look at their websight: “your glasses
will be able to do more than meets the eye.”

I See, This is not a business, it's just
an excuse to make puns.

What a sorry sight/site.
But most interesting, is Google Glass, and
the 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.

Both equally terrible.
It was expensive, poorly marketed, and lacked
a compelling feature.

But, most of all, it just looks… well, let's
say there's room for improvement

The challenge of all these is just as much
design as technology.

Like, I think this joke writes itself
But if there's any company that can turn
a tool you have to wear into an accessory

you want to, it's Apple.
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.
I even know the perfect year to release it,
although, we'll see, hindsight is…well,

you get it.
But seriously: isn't it just way too early?
Technology arrives in waves, first, early
adopters, then the public, eventually, even

the luddites.
But between these is an invisible hole, To
see it, we have to remember the Hype Cycle.

Here at peak excitement, it's very easy
to get a few users - these are early adopters

- and they give the illusion of momentum.
The hole is the steep descent that follows
- after the hype, getting users is much, much

harder.
It takes a lot of kinetic energy for a product
to pass this filter.

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.
With Audible, you can listen on your way to
school or work, at the gym, or whenever else.

I started listening to audiobooks in high
school and it really changed my habits - It

turns the necessary but very boring moments
of your life into the ones you look forward

to.
I'm almost always listening to at least
one book, and one of my favorite things is

reading about the CEO of a company I like:
For the Grand Theory of Apple, Amazon, and
this video, I learned much of the content

by understanding the person behind the company
- their personality, what motivates them,

and how they came to start their business.
And because this author talked for hours with
Steve Jobs and the people around him, it has

a lot of detail you just won't find anywhere
else.

Another is The Everything Store - the story
of Jeff Bezos and Amazon.

I'm convinced there's no human on earth
like Bezos, his mindset is really interesting

to hear about.
And speaking of Amazon, prime members can
listen to Audible for only $4.95 a month for

their first three months.
You can pick any book they have every month,
and if you don't like it, and I absolutely

love this, you just click return and pick
another.

Go to Audible.com/polymatter or text polymatter
to 500500.

Again that's Audible.com/p-o-l-y-m-a-t-t-e-r
or text polymatter to 5-0-0-5-0-0.

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Apple Glasses Are Coming - Here's Why

467 Folder Collection
Samuel published on July 31, 2018
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