Right now it seems that most people think that AR headsets are the logical evolution of our current technology, the device of the future. However in recent years, many of the companies that have tried to push towards this future have ended up falling flat on their face or producing lackluster products. One such company is Google, with their Google Glass AR headset. Arguably the most known AR headset, the Google Glass probably had the most likely chance go success, just do to the shear size and resources of the company behind it. There was a ton of hype leading up to the Glass’ release date, but when that date finally came in 2013, it was clear that it didn’t live up to those lofty expectations and that the technology just wasn’t ready for primetime yet. The first generation model, known as the Explorer Edition, was penned as a sort of an early access beta program for those who couldn’t wait to see what could be the future of mobile computing, all for the low price of $1500. The Explorer Edition had a few key features which predominately were sending texts, checking emails, asking Google things, taking pictures with the built in camera and watching videos on YouTube. While these features were cool, many people didn’t find them to be enough to justify the hefty price tag.
That brings us to today, where Google has announced that they will no longer be supporting Google Glass Explorer Edition with software updates . This comes after Google restructured its approach to AR in 2017, taking a similar standpoint to Microsoft in using it predominatley for enterprise use with the release of the Google Glass Enterprise Edition, which will continue to be supported for the forseeable future. Although the Glass technically lives on in Enterprise, the original Glass, a deivce that was meant to make AR mainstream and put it in the hands of the people, is basically no more, and with that the future of AR is as uncertain as ever as its arguably most likely to succeed player has dropped out of the race. However, this does not mean AR is done yet, Apple is rumored to come out with their own AR headset, which seems quite possible given their recent push on AR technology. The story of mainstream oriented AR could be similar to the story of the personal computer , with the technologies starting out as predominantly business oriented ones and eventually after many failed attempts and iterations, breaking out into the mainstream. If this is the case, one day we will all be using AR headsets, and the Google Glass will be seen as one of the many failed attempts neccesary towards perfecting a technology so that it is good enough to become a mainstream one.
I can already hear “It’s the headphone jack all over again.”. According to well trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which is definitely not someone working at Apple “leaking” details about future devices to generate hype, Apple will be ditching the Lightning connector in its 2021 iPhones. Now, while this is definitely not set in stone, Kuo is known to be reputable with Apple leaks in the past. I mean, wireless charging, which would almost definitely become the primary power delivery method in the absence of a a physical charging port, has been a feature of iPhones since the iPhone 8 in 2017, when it was a heavily requested feature for iPhones. It also makes sense that the iPhone would be Apple’s first device forgo traditional charging completely and push users into the portless future (the first device besides the Watch that is). The iPhone has always been one of Apple’s more experimental products, simply because Apple knows they will always be able to sell them. Removing the Lightning port would have its benefits for Apple too. It would probably make it easier to waterproof, and not having to make room for the female connector inside the phone would definitely free up some space. Where there are some benefits for Apple, however there are definitely some downsides for consumers. For one, you wouldn’t be able to plug in headphones or any other wired accessories that take advantage of the physical port. Because the iPhone is easily Apple’s most popular device, though, it would definitely lead to one of the biggest pushes into the inevitable portless future, which Apple has been pushing to for years. But the possible absence of the Lighting connector definitely poses some questions. Will the iPhone come with a wireless charger out of the box? Will Apple try to revive AirPower for a portless iPhone? Will we ever see USB-C on the iPhone? Of course all of these questions require that Apple actually does remove the Lightning port, which I don’t think is unlikely, judging Apple’s past, but it definitely is interesting to speculate about.
When Elon Musk announced that Tesla was developing a pick up truck last year, everyone thought he was kidding when he said that it would look like “something out of Blade Runner” . He wasn’t. The truck, in all of its low-poly glory, has become divisive for its wild new design, but you don’t need to hear that, you’ve already seen it. Everyone has, and everyone has an opinion on it, and this is mine. Initially, I thought it looked cool, but extremely impractical when thinking about it driving down the highway. In the weeks since its unveil, however, my thoughts on the Cybertruck have evolved. I knew why they went with such a crazy and polarizing design, its free publicity, and its instantly recognizable just because there is nothing out there that looks even remotely like it. I can’t blast this strategy, I mean, it definitely had the intended effect if that truly was what they were looking for. This notion helped fertilize the design to grow further on me, as it added a little bit reasoning to such a wild concept. I never thought the design was ugly, per say, but rather that it was one that would take time for people to appreciate. Its similar to the case of AirPods. Initially lambasted for what many deemed a silly design, they have since gone on to become an instantly recognizable product that have inspired many clones and even knock offs from other companies. This was because of the innovation that went into them to make them such magical products. I don’t think that the wild new design should be criticized just yet, especially as it will take time to grow on many of us and we have not seen how innovative the Cybertruck really is. For these reasons Im holding out complete judgement of the design until the thing comes out, to see how the design and innovation come together to form the whole product.