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Happy Friday! 

This week I'm sharing my review of the Amazon Echo Frames smart glasses and some thoughts about the next 10 years of smart glass technology and adoption. You may have heard Facebook confirmed this week they are launching glasses next year. Apple is working on some. So is Microsoft. And Snapchat. And more. 

But today, Amazon’s Echo Frames are the most affordable, effective, and consumer-facing look around the corner of where smart glasses trends are headed. They look good. You can’t tell they are smart unless you’re told. And they are a remarkable step forward for getting our faces out of our phones and wrists in daily life. 

I’m fascinated with the promise and value of smart glasses, including new uses we can only start to imagine, including...

  • Notifications: Screenless and heads-up 
  • Real-time translation: via visual displays and/or audio
  • Smart lenses: dynamically changing prescription, focal length, blue light, and UV protection
  • Anticipatory A.I.: moving beyond notifications, reminders and lookups to offer proactive information, scheduling, and more
  • Standalone data: We could conceivably not need to carry a phone at all by 2030.
  • Augmented Reality: opening the digital layer of our world to its wearer for work, play, and daily use.
This won't be mainstream in 18 months, but it certainly will be in the next 10 years. Read more here

See you on the internet!
Greg

SOCIAL PULSE

Every week I keep tabs on what's trending, new technology and consumer habits that impact the social web. Here's what I'm tracking this week... 

iOS 14: If you’re an Apple user, it’s time to update your phone! Widgets! New Memojis! And more! Read about all the goodness here. Favorite feature so far, the back tap screenshot!
 
Young Tech Rises: Young people in Silicon Valley are organizing as a “kind of counterpoint to the Silicon Valley establishment, which its members say is exclusive, elitist and riddled with systemic problems including sexism, ageism and racism.” This includes Gen Z Mafia (creators of Tweetledee, where you can match with your Twitter crush), Eye Mouth Eye (creators of 👁👄👁 that raised money for criminal justice reform), and more. Look for more of this trend as the next generation comes into the tech industry.

Blaseball > Baseball? Real sports are finally back, but that hasn’t stopped the latest season of Blaseball. It’s an online baseball simulation full of fake teams, fake players, and fake betting on virtual games acting out a baseball season – with games every day and post-season on Saturdays. Even if it’s fake baseball with fake wagering, there’s a huge subculture of fandom, fan art, fan fiction, and more emerging for teams with names like Kansas City Breath Mints and Seattle Garages. Sign up here and get in the game!

Hoax of the Week: If you’ve seen your Facebook friends posting sketchy legalese that says something like “Don’t forget tomorrow starts the new Facebook rule where they can use your photo” it’s simply not true. Variations of this have been going around for more than 8 years, and posting statement on your feed will do nothing to invalidate the user agreement you sign to use the platform. If you’re not up for a comment fight when you see these, be sure to report these posts as “False News” so they don’t spread further. And no, Facebook won’t alert your great uncle it was you that reported it.
 
Smart Glasses > Dumb Glasses: Every major tech company  – including Amazon, Apple, Google, Intel, Snap, and Microsoft – are working on smart glasses. Here’s a review of the new Amazon Echo Frames. And this week Facebook shared a first look at their prototype, in partnership with Ray-Ban. We’re entering this really interesting mid-step in smart glasses consumer tech. The pre-AR phase.
 
Body Positivity Comes to TikTok: There has always been an undercurrent of authenticity backlash to the “success theater” of perfect faces, bodies, and homes on social media. Lately, this trend is bubbling to the surface through a renewed body positivity movement on TikTok. Key quote: “They're showing what a normal body looks like, and none of us are really used to seeing that in the media. … When we see these sorts of videos online, social media, they're kind of breaking the illusion that everyone is perfect except us.” Here’s a list of body positive accounts to follow.  
 
5 Leadership Reads of the Week: 1) Your surge capacity is depleted – here’s what to do about it.  2) Intelligent Minds Like Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos Embrace the Rule of Awkward Silence. You Should Too. 3) 14 Tech Trends To Watch Closely In 2020. 4) The internet of protest is being built on single-page websites. 5) We’re All Socially Awkward Now.

Patents of the Week: Would you pay $2 to put links in your Instagram posts? Facebook has filed for a patent for that. Although patent filings aren’t a guarantee that new technology will come to fruition, they give us a hint of where we may be headed. Other recent patents of note include: Apple headphones, electronic yarn, watching eSports in VR, and joining meetings on Xbox.
 
Stream of the Week: The Social Dilemma on Netflix is required watching for any marketer who touches social media or anyone who uses social media (so… everybody?). Former leaders at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Mozilla share the history and purpose of algorithms, advertising strategy, infinite scroll, and the Like button. After watching, read through this intelligent critique of many of the assertions made by the filmmakers.
 
Quick hits:

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.






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