This week, we saw the new iPhone X’s TrueDepth front-facing camera, being used for face authentication. It uses a dot projector that projects over 30,000 invisible dots to map your face structure. Front-facing cameras started showing up in smartphones back in 2003. Selfies being the biggest use case of these front facing cameras. Snapchat (Now so do Facebook & Instagram) thrives on their user’s front-facing cameras with hundred of fun filters. Using computer vision, they map the user’s face. Apple also showcased the improved AR face filter experience with Snapchat on the iPhone X. Beyond selfies and face filters, what else can front-facing cameras do? Can we use them to detect a person’s mood or state of mental health? Can it be used as a mobile healthcare diagnostic tool?
We are less a week away from the launch of the new Apple Watch 3, on September 12th. Fitbit recently announced the Ionic smartwatch and Samsung moving into the fitness niche released the Gear Sport, Gear Fit 2 Pro, and Gear Icon X. With lots of new competition, on the other hand with a promising watchOS 4 update will the new Apple Watch be able to disrupt this market?
Starting from bulky clip on devices to wearables, lifelogging devices have been seen in all types of form factors. The Kuri robot is the latest addition to lifelogging devices. Kuri is developed by Mayfield Robotics, was unveiled earlier this year at the CES. Kuri is built to record family memories as videos with contextual understanding.
Wearable cameras like the Narrative Clip & GoPro did see limited success. Recently, the original Narrative Clip company shutdown and GoPro had significant losses last quarter. The wearable camera market might seem like a niche market to an extent. Interestingly recently launched wearable cameras- FrontRow camera & Shonin Streamcam go beyond lifelogging.
We have been discussing about the major advantages of the new generation of cellular connected wearables, like the Samsung Gear S3 and the Huawei Watch 2. Reports seem to indicate that the Apple Watch 4 will have a cellular model. This will allow Apple Watch users to use their new watches independent of the iPhone.
Cheap wearables have always been key drivers in the wearable market, with Fitbit and Xiaomi going neck to neck for the top berth in the battle for market share. While budget wearables are showing potential this quarter, there’s now a growing need for Apple to come up with more innovative features for the Apple Watch.
Augmented Reality made a huge buzz when Pokemon Go initially launched. Using simple 3D objects in AR View, Pokemon Go introduced millions of people to a simple AR experience. Apple recently announced ARKit at the latest WWDC. It didn’t really bring anything new from the existing Augmented Reality frameworks and SDKs. But ARKit is quite robust, free for developers and can run great on millions of iPhones. It has already gotten really popular with developers as we can see with examples on Made with ARKit. All these new ARKit experiences can actually make AR accessible to the consumer.
One of the major reasons people are vary of jumping onto the self-tracking wagon is privacy of their data. Granted, when you’re trusting a fitness tracker to record how much you’ve run and how your heart rate varies, you’re trusting a slew of services that are working in the background. How can that balance be achieved?