Source: Field Service News

Amazon needs to adapt to the reality of AR

How mass AR will dominate consumers, #5

Yesterday I published an article about Amazon’s smart glasses announcement:

The main critique with Amazon’s approach was the feeling of a short-term approach favoring its own tech (Alexa) over the biggest disruption in tech since 2007 — Augmented Reality.

Amazon has been testing various areas around augmented reality. From at-home furniture placement (see IKEA’s new app) to shopping capabilities the company doesn’t seem to have found the right use case just yet.

The fact that they are experimenting with the technology and have been granted several patents around AR makes me wonder what led them to ditch AR capabilities from their announced smart glasses.

Does Amazon see voice over AR?

That’s the one of the only explanations I can find for such a behavior in the context of Amazon and its track record of understanding and meeting people’s needs by introducing services and products.

Amazon has been at the forefront of establishing voice as a new input system into our lives with Alexa software and the Echo hardware series. People are picking up the idea of Voice-based inputs and it’s obvious where Amazon will take us:

L2 forecast for Amazon and Alexa

The market will prove Amazon wrong

It becomes very obvious that Amazon is wrong with its take on Voice in a more and more AR-driven world. Out of GAFA, Amazon is the only one without an AR platform. And if you take 500mn iPhones, 100mn Android phones and 2bn people on Facebook in comparison to Amazon’s 15mn Voice customer base it becomes clear that Augmented Reality has a bigger advantage.

Amazon needs to combine both to get back on track

Alexa is without a doubt a very powerful technology. Yet as a standalone tech it is limited in its purpose of application (think Echo in the home environment). I guess Amazon has not yet found a fitting way to integrate Voice and AR, that’s why they are experimenting with a Voice-based device. The question is whether this is the right approach (see linked article at top) or if it’s smarter to take a more Apple-like approach.

If Amazon decides to continue to go down that road it might end up with a second Fire Phone-like moment.