Sunday, March 17, 2013

Apple and Google Glass - The Ayes Have it

What if Google Glass went evil? What if it infected the coming techno-singularity with sentience though unintentional evilness? A short post I wrote ("Google Glass is as Google Glass Does") was a gleeful exercise in satirical conjecture. Now, while Google may be relied upon to not be evil, and whether you believe it, or in it, or not, is immaterial - it does however lend an air of reassurance to those looking for solace, and even it it is a vaporous sliver of solace, other companies have not been so benevolent in their stated intentions. In fact, one company's founder had called this very motto "bullshit"? Eh?

And what if that other company - Apple, and let's not split hairs- also were to come out with a copycat Google Glass? It would, of course, not be a copy, but it would be glass done right, it would be a glass neither half-empty nor half-full - it would be double full, in the same volume. Therefore comparing Google Glass and whatever Apple comes out with is not strictly an appes to apples comparison, in more ways than one.

Here is what would be were Apple to launch its own wearable augmented reality contraption (note: this is satire):

Apple Announces the iI
[Undisclosed location, sometime in the not too distant future]

Apple announced that they were going to launch  the greatest innovation in technology since the last greatest innovation in technology, both of which have also been Apple innovations - the term "innovation" and the product, i.e..

The innovation would be a new augmented reality wearable product and would be named "Apple iI" (pronounced "eye eye" or "aye aye", depending on which side of the Atlantic pond you choose to live in). It would be wearable like a regular glass (not to be confused with Google Glass) and would cover one eye.

The "Apple iI" would feature a brushed aluminium frame, and the highly conducting frame would be self-powered, drawing power from the user's skin. A bug that has not been completely fixed in the first release may result in small doses of electric shock being delivered to the wearer of the Apple iI, which may cause the wearer to shriek "ayee ayiiiee". Apple has dismissed all talk of any bug in their product by stating that it is the sheer awesomeness of the product that shocks the wearer, and should not be confused with any product defect. The product electrifies the user, says Apple, and it should not be confused with, yet, electrocuting the user.

To help the user operate the Apple iI, a voice activated application, named "iSir" (pronounced "eye sir"), will ship with the device. There is at least one more bug that remains the shipping release of Apple iI, though Apple insists there are no bugs in its software. Some beta users have complained that saying the words "don't be evil" to Apple iSir, in any context, sends a burst of light to the eye, via iI, that temporarily blinds the wearer for upto fifteen minutes. Users are in any case expected to remain blinded by awesomeness for most of the time when wearing the "iI", so they may not immediately realize this physiological blindness. The temporary blindness is meant to remind you of the blinding awesomeness that results from using Apple's devices.

Rumours immediately started whirling around that a second generation of this product would be announced in time for the holiday season. Reliable sources high up inside Apple provided additional details that seem to substantiate this rumour.

The second generation of the Apple iI would indeed support both eyes, and would be called "Apple i2I" (pronounced "eye to eye"). The voice application on the Apple i2I would also be upgraded, and be called "iISir" (pronounced "eye eye sir" or "aye aye sir", depending, again, on which side of the Atlantic pond you choose to live in).

For those appreciative fans that want to buy the first version of Apple iI, but don't also want to spoil the awesome upgraded experience that Apple i2I would surely provided, a setting in iI can be used to disable your other eye, till such time as i2I is available.

Wisened after some less than awesome competitors tried to copy the look and feel and the trade dress of the device, Apple decided to trademark certain phrases. A small sample includes the following:
- "eye to eye"
- "an eye for an eye"
- "aye aye sir"

Financial analysts, all certified geniuses - because they have all visited the Apple Genius Bar at least once, on Wall Street raised their estimates for Apple's full year earnings by 1000%. The target price on Apple's stock price was raised to $1000 - some analysts had a difficult time distinguishing between 1000% and $1000, and attributed it to a failure to Google the difference, which in turn was attributed to Apple iI disabling all Internet traffic by these analysts to Google's servers, while estimates for the first full quarter unit sales were estimated at warp factor 1 million - because Wall Street analysts remained convinced that the earnings resulting from this latest release from Apple were sure to bend the space-time continuum several times over.

More details are awaited.

Abhinav Agarwal, Bangalore, March 17, 2013.

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