On Monday, Apple unveiled its Apple Card, the company's boldest move, evolving into a true mainstream mobile payments provider. And the product has far-reaching implications for our future of augmented reality, some of which may not be obvious to many right away.
First a little background knowledge. Apple Pay has been around for some time and has managed to catch a large number of users, but it's still not as ubiquitous as you'd expect from an iPhone maker. The Apple card can change that.
No matter how many new technologies there are, humans are still largely habitual animals. So if you really want to reach the masses, it helps to give them something familiar. That's why so many AR enthusiasts rely on AR Smart eyewear because they know that AR eyewear is much easier for mainstream users to sell than AR over an iPhone or a "mixed reality" helmet. Similarly, the mere introduction of Apple's familiarity with shape and dynamics will likely give Apple the mainstream payment exposure it has been working on for years.
A new kind of credit card. Created by Apple, not by a bank. & # 39; Translation: Banks are bad.
Although the promotional video (at the bottom of this page) spends most of its time using the card over Apple iPhone for Apple Pay, when the video uncovers the titanium-etched credit card, Apple's plans are still marketing become more obvious and attractive.
In short, the company wants to replace your bank. This intent is even set forth on the Apple website, where the company says, "A new kind of credit card created by Apple, not a bank."
"No bank." Translation: We want you to give up your bank.
But what exactly do you mean by that? For anyone who tracks the news, it's obvious – Apple sells trust and privacy. With the proliferation of privacy and data scandals plaguing both banks and competing tech companies in recent years, users are increasingly looking for an option that is both convenient and trustworthy. Banks have long ceased to be practical, and the idea that your data is safe in the slow-moving traditional banking practices is optimistic at best.
Therefore, Apple's hard-earned reputation as the user's guardian of trust and confidentiality (Apple boss Tim Cook put almost everything against the FBI's call to break into a user's phone) is now being literally redeemed.
What does all this have to do with AR? Everything. Apple glasses are coming. Let's take a look at the company's approach to Apple's first wearable, the Apple Watch, which has been quickly integrated into the Apple Pay ecosystem.
Apple Pay over the Apple Watch is pretty smooth, but how many times have you actually seen someone paying for a deal with the Apple Watch? Despite the comfort dynamics, it is relatively rare to see such a landmark in your local corner shop. Embedding the power of Apple Pay into a pair of fashionable Apple AR glasses, also known as Apple Glasses, could be immediately more seamless than using an Apple Watch to pay.
Of course, the "Tap to Pay" option would not work. But what if you paid for something at the store as if it was so easy to look at? Or look at it and tap the side of your glasses? It's a kind of physical interaction that Apple has already familiarized itself with on the iPhone X – look at your phone to pay for or approve an app through Face ID. Keep in mind that the tagline that Apple recently used in an Apple Pay commercial was "pay at a glance" (see video above). It is unclear how the face ID dynamics could move from a technological and logistical point of view to glasses, but these words are nonetheless an indication of the future.
In this regard, Apple's introduction of a physical credit card is neither innovative nor particularly simple. If you're interested in the free app-centric usability of the new Apple Card, you're probably already using Square's Square card. However, there are two things that make Apple better than Square and most banks: trust in mobile payments, customer service (love you, Square, but it's true), and hardware for end users. To be honest, Square has gained a lot of trust, but it's nothing like the trust that consumers have entrusted to Apple to protect the many secrets on their smartphones.
With the introduction of an Apple Card, Apple essentially markets its mobile payment service and its ability to faithfully protect your money and privacy.
By contrast, many banks today are quietly data mining your account activity, gathering information about where you normally go shopping, what bills you normally pay, and what your weekly expenses are. And these are not even shady affairs, everything happens outdoors.
For example, if you use the Citibank mobile app, your shopping habits are conveniently (but not scary) listed each month, even if you do not want them to be tracked. For a not inconsiderable number of Apple customers, trusting Apple's confidential information would be far better than trusting a bank.
Of course we still do not know how the relationship with Apple will work with its partners MasterCard and Goldman Sachs, but even without any details, Apple has gained a lot of trust in its users.
It is such a trust that is critical when many of us are running around with others brands of AR smart glasses that may record our location or not, which we like to look at (a concern in VR the recently addressed by the founder of Oculus, a company that operates on AR Smartglasses) and most of all, what our habits are. If the combination of 5G and AR cloud technology becomes the core element of our mobile experience – which is expected within 24 months at the latest – the most important selling tool will be trust and good technology.
Apple prepares the public to buy into this trust through direct bank borrowing.
Would you count on Facebook to put a camera on your face all day long (without claiming access to the camera data) while quietly tracking your purchases in the background? What about your favorite bank? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, I would suggest reading a little more .
And even if Apple is not perfect and is likely to have a big privacy issue with Apple Pay and Apple Card, Apple eventually seems to be among the available options associated with trusting mobile payments at this point to have the lead.
Keep these points in mind when you start buying AR Smartglasses over the next 24 months, as privacy and trust in the AR cloud will be far more important than almost any other feature you'll encounter. And for any business that can not be supported by Apple AR, you now have your mission: focus on trust.