This is a submitted feature article for my course. I was asked to generate my own idea, plan, pitch, interview and then write and edit the finished product.
Do we really need Apple Glasses?
Recent speculation of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s collaboration with optical company Carl Zeiss to produce a pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses has some less tech- savvy people wondering what they are, and why on earth would we need them?
With the Apple Glasses rumoured to be launched in 2018, the idea is that the wearer would be able to view images and other information within their field of vision. In an interview with ABC News last September, Cook explained the technology: ‘[AR] gives the capability for us to sit and be very present, talking to each other, but also have other things — visually — for us both to see.’ AR is also used in the popular app, Pokémon Go, which drew headlines worldwide last year.
So far many have explored both positive and negative aspects of these glasses’ potential, Bloomberg Technology describing them as ‘a risky but potentially lucrative area of wearable computing.’ The risk is that consumers view them as a novelty. To attract buyers, Apple would need to create a product which allows for a broader range of use, as with the iPhone.
An example of this might be to cater to domestic maintenance. Apple consumer Chris* says, ‘If you can’t get an idea of how something is going to look [when decorating], it would actually give you a very good idea of what it’s going to look like.’
People on the MacRumours forum have contributed other useful ideas, like including AR for use in vehicles, in retail or for logistics. One user said, ‘A worker wearing AR glasses could save a lot of time by no longer needing a label scanner, freeing a hand and scanning the goods with his glasses instead.’
Facilitating practicality is important in a successful device, especially for those like Chris from the baby boomer generation, who wasn’t brought up with computers and modern technology. ‘Having been in computer programming, I know that technology changes rapidly,’ Chris says. ‘I’ll use it for some things I actually need. [But] I don’t like that every two years the companies want you to change your phone, I think that’s a bit of waste.’
One drawback of using the Apple Glasses is considering people who wear spectacles. One concerned user on the MacRumours forum said, ‘People who wear glasses, need to wear glasses. Will I be taking off my Coke bottle lenses to go AR... and not see a damn thing beyond a few feet (I am near sighted... badly). Probably not.’ Chris relates to the problem too, who is short-sighted and has a stigmatism.
So, do we need Apple Glasses? A technology like AR could be the foundation for a lot of time-saving, beneficial opportunities which could be expanded on in the future. In any case, it will be exciting to see where it leads!