Apple News

AR 1.0 is dead: Here’s what it got wrong

The first wave of AR startups offering smart glasses is now over, with a few exceptions.

Google acquired North this week for an undisclosed sum. The Canadian company had raised nearly $ 200 million, but the release of its Focals 2.0 smart glasses has been cancelled, a bittersweet end for its soft landing.

Many AR startups before North made huge promises and raised huge amounts of capital before flaring out in a similarly dramatic fashion.

The technology was almost there in a lot of cases, but the real issue was that the stakes to beat the major players to market were so high that many entrants pushed out boring, general consumer products. In a race to be everything for everybody, the industry relied on nascent developer platforms to do the dirty work of building their early use cases, which contributed heavily to nonexistent user adoption.

A key error of this batch was thinking that an AR glasses company was hardware-first, when the reality is that the missing value is almost entirely centered on missing first-party software experiences. To succeed, the next generation of consumer AR glasses will have to nail this.

Image Credits: ODG

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Apple launches Path to Apple Card, a 4-month credit worthiness improvement program

Apple is launching an interesting new Apple Card program for people who have their application declined.

Declined Apple Card applicants may begin seeing notifications on their device later today that offer them the Path to Apple Card program. It’s an opt-in program that can run for up to 4 months. It leverages the information that Goldman Sachs used to determine their credit worthiness to outline why they were declined and to help them improve the specific financial markers that would make them more likely to get approved next time.

Once a user opts in on their device, they get a once-a-month update on their progress on specific tasks that are personalized to their rating.

Examples include:

  • Resolving past due balances.
  • Making payments to secured and unsecured debt accounts on time.
  • Lowering credit card and personal loan debt.

The updates also include specific steps to take to improve each of those markers.

Once a customer has completed the program, they are invited to reapply to Apple Card.

Image Credits: Apple

Doubtless the points above seem pretty straightforward to anyone with strong basic knowledge of how credit works. But I encourage anyone to whom those seem simple to consider how many people do not have a real window into the factors that determine whether an underwriting process at a financial firm accepts or rejects their application. No other interactive program like this exists in the credit card world as far as I know

Normally, when you get a decline from a major credit card bureau, you get a message that you’ll get a letter in the mail days from now with “reasons” why you’ve been declined. The result is usually a bunch of paper with a relatively unhelpful single sentence telling you the factor that was an issue. Nothing proactive.

Image Credits: Apple

On the privacy front, Apple only knows whether you have chosen to participate in the program. It does not retain personally identifiable information or know details about the participants’ financial situation. Goldman Sachs is also not sharing this data with third parties for advertising or marketing. Pretty much the same deal as the Apple Card itself.

Image Credits: Apple

I’ve been bullish before on the way that Apple Card handles fiscal transparency. The “payment wheel” inside the card’s interface on iOS devices is one of the clearest, most well-made interfaces for any credit card ever offered. The approach Apple takes — an all out effort to make it as easy as possible not to pay interest on purchases unless you absolutely feel you want to — is wildly different from the industry norms.

This additional financial health tool fits well within that overall philosophy. As a side benefit, these steps will doubtless result in an overall credit score improvement for participants.

Apple has also recently launched an additional website that details the exact criteria that Goldman Sachs uses to determine acceptance and credit limit. It also offers additional details about things like how interest is calculated for the platform.

Article updated to note that the invites to participate are received on devices.


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