What you can do when you wear AR glasses now? See news headlines, social updates, arrows showing direction, you steps, heart rate status, new email. Not much, everything is tied to the internet, and couple of sensors. But there is a vast amount of things that lie outside of internet: tables, coffee makers, books, lights, clothes, whole environment. All these things can give information, and ability to control either using UI, or seamlessly from sensors on our body (Intensity of light at night can be controlled by measuring diameter of eye pupil). Physical things, and data, and UI. This creates a huge business opportunity.
And here comes great lie about IoT: it is not possible to put these on the internet, and doing so makes no sense, because possibilities of human interaction is severely limited. That is why thinking about physical things in terms of internet is seriously flawed.
So, what options are available? Bluetooth needs pairing, or it could send only id, for WiFi, to work all devices has to be in the same network + all that network stack. NFC works, well, when things are close. ZigBee is used more in industry, there are no radios in current mobile devices for that - all these were developed as a solutions for different problems, but none of them is feasible for AR.
Apple tried to use existing standards in products like: iBeacons, HomeKit with little success. So in what Apple is the best? Hardware.
I think that W1 chip is the answer, currently used in wireless earbuds: AirPods. I think, it is using Apple own protocol over Bluetooth, so it has both adequate range and it uses low energy. Maybe Apple would offer Wx to home appliance manufacturers, so their products would work seamlessly with iDevices. Instead of:
- adding, and handling additional radio hardware(Bluetooth, WiFi)
- developing apps(and we all know how miserable these are)
- handling interfaces to HomeKit.
When Wx chip is used, UI done in editor, and integration with appliance hardware would be enough. When AR glasses are ready, whole home is prepared for that. This move is just going further in chain with Apple famous vertical integration. If true, we shall see this in coming years. (04 November, 2016)