What's next for Apple? Neil Cybart thinks he knows

"There are certain ideas that we have, and we're waiting for the technology to catch up." —Jony Ive

From Apple Is Figuring Out What's Next, Cybart's latest {free} weekly article:

While AR [augmented reality] makes for a cool on-stage demo, having to hold an iPhone or iPad up as an AR viewfinder for long periods of time isn't ideal. Items like Siri Shortcuts and Siri Suggestions are interesting on iPhone and iPad although they are incredibly more appealing on mobile displays worn on our bodies. ML [machine learning] applications on iPhone and iPad are useful, but the predictive and proactive nature of the technology can work wonders when combined with mobile cameras and screens that we don't have to hold. Apple is announcing new technologies that make more sense on form factors that currently don't exist.

Drumroll, please:

The next wearables battle will be for our eyes. This battle will revolve around a product that benefits from technologies currently found with ARKit, Siri, and Apple's ML efforts. Apple is setting the stage for smart glasses. A pair of smart glasses will essentially boil down to an ML playground cool looking and light enough to wear throughout the day. There's one problem for Apple: The world isn't quite ready for such a product. As Jony Ive put it a few months ago, "there are certain ideas that we have, and we're waiting for the technology to catch up."

My take: If I didn't already agree, Cybart would have convinced me. Meanwhile, if Ive is looking for something to do while he's waiting, I've got some suggestions. See Jony, Phil, Eddy: Where are they now?


  1. Patrick Beyrouti said:
    In a way OK but , the next big thing is not really about your eyes.
    BUT a head set that can speak to you based on location and orientation.

    To have a better idea read the latest book from Dan Brown. Great use of AI . This will trump AR. A lot of people have an ear piece in their ear , imagine a continuous conversation.

    June 24, 2018
    • John Kirk said:
      You don’t need a headset to do what you’re asking for. All you need is AirPods paired with some form of smartglasses.

      June 24, 2018
  2. Steven Noyes said:
    I want autofocus glasses. No internet. No bluetooth. Just a simple autofocus pair of glasses. Two small cameras for a depth map using pupil tracking to know where your focus needs to be and a means to somehow adjust the shape of the lens. Failsafe to infinity focus.

    That’s it. Charge $1,000. They would sell 100’s of millions over-night.

    June 24, 2018
    • Richard Wanderman said:
      Is it possible to have these on top of or underneath a prescription? If so, I want them bad!

      June 24, 2018
      • Fred Stein said:
        Great idea. Why not offer all the options; progressive, transitioning, and prescriptions?

        June 24, 2018
      • Steven Noyes said:
        Why not AS your prescription? No more bi or tri-focals, just glasses. They adjust to where you are looking. They could also tune for each eye individually.

        NOTE: Apple purchased the company “SensoMotoric Instruments” a bit over a year ago. Apple has patents going back to 2013 dealing with eye tracking as well.

        June 24, 2018
  3. Fred Stein said:
    While we’re speculation (ugh)..

    What about cameras for iPhones with 3D image capture? LucidVR has one for $399 and Lenova for $299. Apple could add this to a future iPhone. Meanwhile Apple’s ARKit and support of USDZ allow 3D viewing on all Apple’s flat screen devices.

    June 24, 2018
  4. Fred Stein said:
    Just read Neil’s article and love most of it. BUT…

    He falls into the journalistic trap of trying to sound too authoritative. For example: “Five years ago, Apple management was facing growing pressure to announce something new. Wall Street and Silicon Valley were eager to see Apple unveil a new product category in the post-Steve Jobs era.”

    NO !. Apple is not under pressure to fulfill the prophesies and prognostications of pundits whether from Wall Street or Silicon Valley. Most are shallow.

    Tim Cook has been clear – AR not VR. That’s giant. Flat screens can deliver AR experiences. The IB of flat screens is huge. (Sorry. Sound like DJT. Short sentences, Bad.) We don’t have to wait until the technology is ready head mounted gear and then wait five+ years, until that IB approaches 10% of the IB of flat screens.

    For example Prezi, a hot startup challenging powerpoint already has 3D visualization in the slide wear technology.

    In the end, I agree. Apple will give us Eye Candy – some headmount gear – someday.

    June 25, 2018

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