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A Wearable World: Your Guide to the Post-Smartphone Future Powered by AI, AR, and XR.

By Cathy Hackl & Lily Snyder

Welcome to the future! You are reading this because you just saw Apple announce its entry into a completely new market - the market of XR devices. Wearables are not new for Apple, but a wearable headset is. You are probably wondering if this is just a fad or if this announcement signals a new shift in computing.

Lily and I are here to tell you that whether the Apple headset thrives or not, this marks a watershed moment for technology and business. It will change how humans communicate with each other, how they work, and how they engage with technology. We know this firsthand because we have spent a combined two decades working inside companies creating the future even before anyone else saw it. We bet our careers on this moment! And it has finally arrived.

We know this device is still in an experimental phase and not ready for a mass market audience. It is, however, a stepping stone toward a new paradigm for how humans engage with technology. This is all happening at a very precise moment in time - where technologies like AI have accelerated beyond everyone’s expectations; where one in every three humans describe themselves as gamers; [1] where more money is being made in gaming than in music and movies combined; [2] and where AR/VR/XR will finally help unleash a new more immersive internet [3].

We recently attended AWE where many people see AI as the accelerant for XR (extended reality, also used for mixed reality). During the opening keynote at the event, Ori Inbar said, “XR is the interface for AI. Our interactions with AI will become less about text and prompts and more about spatial context.”

We are at a crossroads when it comes to the future of the mobile internet, with tech converging at speeds we’ve never seen before and new interfaces, new hardware, new content, and new operating systems being rapidly released. The future of the smartphone and the future of communications, culture, community, and connection is about to be realized. We hope this mini book can be your guide into the post-smartphone future that will be powered by tech, but most importantly, by humans entering a new era.

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