One day in the not-so-distant future, we’ll laugh that we used to stare at a shiny rectangle as a way to interface with data. You know, to get the important information — like browsing Cats of Instagram.
It’s easy to see that we need a better interface, and it will be augmented reality that ushers in the much-needed change. AR superimposes digital data onto the world you see, allowing you to remain engaged with your physical surroundings while you view GPS directions, for example.
“I regard [AR] as a big idea like the smartphone,” says Apple’s Tim Cook. “The smartphone is for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge.”
Ah, sweet irony. It’s going to take something as big as the smartphone to kill the iPhone. And it can’t happen too soon as far as I’m concerned.
Here’s looking at you, kid
AR eyeglasses (and eventually contact lenses) will become the window into a better way to check your email (without bumping into people on the sidewalk). Think of something like Snap’s new Spectacles 3 camera glasses, but in about eight to ten years.
That’s when we’ll see a shift that makes the 2007 smartphone revolution look quaint in comparison:
Augmented reality is about to add a digital intelligence layer to our every surrounding, transforming retail, manufacturing, education, tourism, real estate, and almost every major industry that holds up our economy today.
Tim Cook is right, AR is going to be huge. And beyond your personal use of the technology, it’s worthwhile to invest in companies that are pushing AR forward, and perhaps think about entrepreneurial ventures that use augmented reality to create new business models.
Finding the next Apple
If you owned a bunch of Apple stock pre-iPhone and held on, you might be reading this from your private island right now. And it may well be that the next Apple is Apple, given that the CEO is clearly looking past the interface metaphor of the phone.
Personally, I’m focusing on ways the technology can provide meaningful experiences for customers of my companies. The ability to do that from anywhere in the world is an amazing advancement for entrepreneurs.
Beyond the opportunities, it’ll be nice to not constantly reach for your rectangle. And forget looking like a moron staggering blindly down the street staring at a “phone” that you refuse to answer calls on.
We’ll have all new issues of course. Such as, “Is she looking at me and smiling, or is she browsing Cats of Instagram?”
Introducing the Augmented World of 2030 (Singularity Hub)