And i was listening to The AR Show a podcast about smartglasses the entire time. It is done by a guy called Jason McDowall who says that he believes smartglasses will have a bigger impact on the human experience and society than mobile phones, PCs, or the current internet. Agreed.
Jason spents more than three hours talking with Karl, digging into a lot (!) of stuff: patents, history, micro LED microdisplay, holograms, etc. Karl talks about how hard it is to create compact, Ray-Ban-inspired smartglasses, especially at an affordable price. And he deconstructs the recent sneak peek of Magic Leap’s smartglasses and shares some choice words about their efforts. Actually after the podcast he has printed a Magic Leap version to prove how much it blocks the users view, etc.
It was a pleasure to dig way deeper and to get a lot more technical in order to avoid the shallow praise you normally read on the internet. I have not yet started to really get into optics or displays or whatsoever, but i loved the high-level talk: In several years, you’re not going to care about the nitty gritty details of microdisplays. But if you are making decisions dependent on the timing and growth rate of consumer-grade AR smartglasses, you should care. The biggest barrier – the most important missing ingredient – to consumer-grade smartglasses is the display. Based on the technology available today, there is NO WAY Apple ships smartglasses in 2020. Karl estimates it’s going to take 5+ years for the display systems to be good enough. You’ll make better decisions about where and when to invest if you understand where the false promises are, where the real hope lies, and why it’s so hard.
Besides this podcast i started reading Amy Webbs „The Signals Are Talking“. I am not a hundred percent sure of what to make or think of Amy Webb. There seems to be a success-routine with a certain kind of smart people publishing books and giving their TED-talks and doing their thing and selling what they have to sell. But whatever, chapter two about understanding the difference between trend and trendy is worthwhile, not only because there has been a tiny debate about flying cars kicked of by Doro Bär lately. Yet again, as with Karl, it would be great to have them around – you know – just like Woody Allen and Marshall McLuhan.
„In fact, flying cars don´t represent failure; the illustrate how the promise of exciting new technologies sometimes obscures real change that´s actually underfoot.“ Please insert Magic Leap here. „Autonomous transport – not flying cars is the trend to follow. We´ve never needed a flying car. We´ve just needed a system of transportation that corresponds with the needs of our current lifestyles…in other words, why are we still trying to build cars that fly – an idea that sounded exciting in an era when airline travel wasn´t yet available to everyone, when cars were still to expensive for the average household, and when meetings only happened face to face.“