Digital Digest July 21st 2017

1. Big News

AR arrives this October

Augmented Reality (aka AR aka Mixed Reality) is what happens when a computer overlays sound, video and/or graphics to a live view of the real world. Often this is done through a headset (ex. Google Glass, Hololens, Magic Leap) or by looking through a screen you already have (ex. a tablet or your phone).

AR becomes really interesting when the computer has an accurate understanding of your environment’s dimensions as well as the objects in it. With this fidelity you can move from a simple Pokemon Go transparency sheet overlay to a mini Green Giant that walks across your table and plants a $1 off flag in the middle of your creamed spinach.

Apple has announced ARkit as a feature of iOS 11. Since their supply chain leaks like a sieve these days, we can almost guarantee the hardware components (cameras, sensors, GPU, etc.) to support AR will be in their next phone, too. This matters because where Google’s Tango tech didn’t scale quick enough to kickstart network effects, Apple quite likely will.

Why it matters

  • Marketing’s place in VR is ambiguous, AR is advertising’s holy grail.

Daniel’s .0.000007 BTC

  • Within months of the next iPhone launch, advertising will have a Subservient Chicken moment in AR.
  • There’s also going to be an onslaught of bad “we’re doing it because we can” ideas as the industry figures out this new toy.
  • Check this to preview AR dystopia

2. I wish I thought of that

Do Not Pay — A 19-year-old Stanford student created “the world’s first robot lawyer.” It’s a free bot that helps anyone contest parking tickets. Does it work? In its first year and a half the bot vanquished $4m worth of parking tickets in New York and London by winning 170,000/250,000 cases!

3. Tool of the Week

If you have an iPhone/iPad and like to live a bit dangerously, I suggest you join Apple’s Public Beta program. You can install iOS 11 right now, months before the official release (likely Sept/October). iOS 11 allows you to do a bunch of cool stuff like drag & drop file management, a customizable control center, screenshot markup and so much more.

Be warned: this is a true beta and some of the bugs aren’t worked out yet. Be sure to backup your phone before you give it a rip!

4. Startup Radar

Brandless launched this month after raising $50 million in a quest to become the Procter & Gamble of millennials. They do all manner of consumer packaged goods (from sea salt quinoa chips to hand cream to pizza cutters) with an interesting gimmick: everything is $3.

5. From the Archives

Giorgio Cam is a collaboration between Google and the godfather of techno music, Giorgio Moroder. It uses Cloud Vision API to create a rhyming song set to a slamming techno beat based on what it sees. Give it a try, it’s web based so there’s nothing to download.