There are many things I wish would have come to pass in the technology space over the past few years. One of them would be the Google Glass. I saw a lot of potential for the product that frankly Microsoft Hololens delivered. But glass was nice because it was much smaller and less intrusive than Hololens is. There is a product, it is intriguing, but I am just starting to play with it, so I am not sure that it is going to be as functional as Hololens. It is called the Vufine. Small, like Google Glass, but not as many features as Microsoft Hololens.
(Rhetorical question why have a dumb Aleck when you can have a smart aleck?)
Smart glasses, like smart watches, are interesting problems. First off the application of Smart Glasses is less prevalent than Smart Watches. Smart Watches have the built in reality of fitness. Your Smart Watch tracks your steps and other activities for the day. That is a built in market that the Smart Glasses won’t be as applicable. They, Smart Glasses, are geared more towards information delivery than information creation. In particular, I suspect the interactive travel industry will grab ahold of the Smart Glasses soon. There is something to be said for 3d interactive travel.
That, got me thinking about the label smart in front of watches. Or in front of glasses, or TV’s or for that matter anything. What does smart mean? People talk about smart appliances (they are connected to the Internet). They talk about smart cars (also connected to the Internet, but adding features like collision avoidance and automatic braking).
So I decided to start removing smart. Look, a smart car is smart. It is telling you things you CANNOT do without the car. Using Sonar to tell you that in fact you are TOO close the car next to you, or that the lane you wish to occupy is currently occupied by another car. That’s smart.
A smart Appliance is connected. Now, let’s get real for a moment.
1. Smart appliances should help you achieve goals. For example, when you are trying to lose weight, a smart appliance should tell you the calories of what you are in the process of making. Want to remove gluten from your diet, a smart appliance should be able to scan what you are eating and let you know when there is gluten in what you are currently chomping on!
2. Smart appliances should learn. Yes, they should learn and understand the world around them, and you! They should begin to learn and understand what your patterns are. For me, there are moments of mindless eating that I have to get away. Can a smart appliance remind me of my goal as I reach for something easy?
Ok, so that makes Smart Glasses and Smart Watches potentially smart. But appliances, not so much. In fact, we overuse the word smart to mean connected. I love using the Google Home device and the Amazon Echo device. I have a Google Home in my kitchen and an Amazon Echo in my office. They are voice activated dumb devices.
I am looking for smart devices! Smart Glasses that see a device note that the device is not currently working and download automatically and display for me the specifications of that device. Hey, Scott, the device you are looking at should look like this.
Smart Appliances should be able to connect with each other and keep track of what I am eating when I am on a diet. But also should connect with my medical devices to help me eat better. (don’t salt your dinner, your blood pressure was high normal yesterday morning, or don’t add sugar to that because your blood sugar was high average yesterday). Integrated smart devices would be a value not only for my health but also for my life. Help me be a better me. Goodness knows there is a lot of room for improvement.
Although, I am not sure those smart devices are shipping soon. Still, it is my dream, A smart device that knows I am sad when I am really sad I reach for good. So only have healthy snacks in the front of the fridge!
Images today from the cell phone collection of Scott Andersen (I take a crap ton of whiteboard pictures).
Smart Aleck. Why have a dumb Aleck when you can connect your Aleck and have a Smart Aleck!