Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Welcome Apple Glass - seriously

One of a number of press coverage - this one from Apple Insider

My choice of this post's title ("Welcome...seriously") reflects a bit of an homage to the famous 1981 Apple advertisement, welcoming IBM to the personal computer market. This time, it's not an upstart company having the nerve to "welcome" the seemingly insurmountable computer giant into their backyard, the nascent "personal computer" market (and I credit IBM with popularizing the "PC" nomenclature). Instead, it's me welcoming Apple into the #smartglasses market. And like 1981, at this stage of the wearable-computing-eyewear market, it's early, with bona fide success for any or all players very much up in the air.

I just posted last month about Amazon's Echo Frames efforts, a product which include many things in common with the rumored Apple product. The big one, it would seem, is that both have the capability to be fitted with prescription lenses, meaning they can be full-time replacements for users' existing glasses.

The speculation about the Apple product's AR/VR functionality may end up winning the day, but to me, the main point of differentiation (at least as anticipated when Apple's product comes to fruition), is their assumed dependence on the companies' different "assistants", Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Apple Siri. It's accurate to say I use both of these technologies on a daily basis, and I view Amazon as having a very large advantage. While Siri manages to use my voice commands make a call or open an app on my iPhone, and Alexa does quite well with managing my home lighting and controlling a few (so far) other smart home functions, when they meet on the same playing field, like requesting information (just for fun, say, "who's birthday is it today?"), it seems Alexa is far more likely to speak back something pleasing ("today is Miles Davis's birthday", followed by a short bio of the late, great jazz great), whereas Siri seems to put the burden back on me ("Sorry, I don't see any matches in your contacts"). 

Like with Amazon Echo Frames, I am happy to keep an eye on this development from Apple. I just don't anticipate beating down the doors for a pair - or is it singular, as in "Glass". That nomenclature did not work so well for Google (with the quickly-coined term "Glasshole" gaining widespread buzz) - we will see for Apple!