When you replace your smartphone with smart glasses – and you will – the leap will be far bigger than when the world replaced mainframe computers with PCs.
Sure, the early versions may be a bit disappointing, but most people don’t yet realize the immense difference between looking at the world thru your computer versus merely looking at your computer.
Here are five reasons we will all ultimately make the switch:
1.) Wisdom: At a conference, the facial recognition app on your glasses will recognize distant acquaintances and remind you of not only their names, but also of any notes you made last time you saw them. “Ask Jim whether the software upgrade you sold him has paid for itself yet,” your glasses may prompt.
In a social gathering, you may see the profiles of people who have decided to share them in real time. You will scan the crowd for people with shared interests, or even choose to “advertise” what’s on your mind. “Looking for a share in a beach house,” you might say, and others will see that request in their glasses.
When you look at a book, you will see its reviews. Look at an appliance for sale, and you will see any demonstrations the manufacturer has posted.
Just imagine a capable assistant always at your side, and you get the idea.
2.) Immersion: Whether you are learning to repair car engines or how to fly a plane, there are times when simulating reality is far better than breaking it into little pieces. At times like these, you will want to use smart glasses as displays that block out the world and take you elsewhere.
But we’re not just talking about cool displays, we’re talking about a computer on your head that also has a cool display. That computer may be able to pick up sensor data that measures your heart rate, anxiety level, and even focus. Such a computer, loaded with the right app, could find your flaws and correct them safely during a simulation.
3.) Direction: When you get off the train in a new city and want to find a clean but inexpensive hotel your glasses will point the way. They can take you on a tour of a museum, guide you to the book you want in the library, or nudge you away from a tourist shop that charges twice as much for everything as it is worth.
Yes, there are already apps that do much of this, but the customer experience of getting such directions from your glasses has the potential to be so much more elegant than trying to walk down the street and look at your smartphone in your hand.
4.) Convenience. I started thinking about this article while out in my little Boston Whaler motor boat, when I wished I could strap my iPad to my face.
Theoretically, the iPad is the perfect navigation device. It has a big touchscreen and is loaded with a GPS app that tells me my location and the depth of the waters around me. In reality, it is nearly impossible to consult the iPad while going 30 mph, but that’s exactly when I really need to know whether there are shallow areas ahead.
There are countless moments when we need information but don’t have our hands free: cooking, attending to a patient, caring for a baby, or even presenting in a meeting.
5.) Escape: Some of you have struggled through this article wondering, “Is he going to mention porn?” Yes, I am. Sad but true, porn merchants are the great technological innovators, generally first to adopt each new IT advancement, and smart glasses offer a powerful way for people to completely escape their reality, whether through porn, immersive video games, or even virtual travel.
The difference between Immersion and Escape is that the former is largely about education and learning, while Escape is all about forgetting the reality of your life.
In a single article, it is difficult to convey the sweeping changes that likely lie ahead. My main point is pretty simple: we are underestimating both the opportunities, and the speed with which they will soon start appearing.
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