Remember that crazy wearable 3D display concept Sony was showing off at CES 2011? Turns out the company is actually going to make it, and the HMZ-T1 is scheduled to be released in Japan on November 11th. While the design has changed slightly since we first laid our eyes, and heads, on it, the specs appear to be the same, with two 1280x720 0.7-inch OLED panels mounted in front of each eye giving the wearer an experience similar to viewing a 750-inch screen from 20m away, as well as 5.1 surround sound from headphones integrated into the Head Mounted Display (HMD). You can see the helmet above, as well as the processor unit (complete with HDMI input and output, so you can take off the helmet and watch on TV) that it must remain tethered to. Pricing is expected to be 60,000 yen ($783 US). Check out the press release and our hands-on video from CES after the break and decide if living out a Geordi La Forge-style fantasy is worth it.
BM’s Lee Green provides a road map for generating disruptive technologies, objects, and experiences.
No matter the forum or platform, designers, executives, and consumers love to discuss (and use) products and services that seem to break the mold. These ideas are disruptive, creative, and often counterintuitive. A decade ago, who could have predicted that mobile phones would take the place of digital cameras, for both still and video images, in the minds and hands of consumers? Or that serious chefs would consider food-truck businesses, once the domain of low-end services but now a trendy, fast, and cost-effective way to open a “restaurant”?
Onlookers often think that such marketplace and marketing successes are products of one-off “aha” moments of inspiration or unique research methods. But there are actual strategies that designers and businesses can follow to create such disruptive technologies, objects, and experiences. Here are my three tried-and-true tactics:
1. Support what is likely to fail.
By this I don’t mean prioritize experiments and concepts that look like they might not sell; I mean consider technology and designs that might not seem to work for their intended purposes. This is the approach of James Dyson, the British engineer and vacuum entrepreneur, and the company that bears his name. While developing breakthrough products, such as the energy-saving hand-drying machine known as the Airblade, Dyson and his team take note of what ideas and prototypes aren’t achieving their goals and then find new uses for them.
Today Amazon launched an HTML5 browser version of its market leading eReader application, Kindle. Called Kindle Cloud Reader, it’s a direct response to the 30% cut of sales that Apple now takes from in-app purchases and subscriptions via iOS apps. The 30% Apple toll hits businesses like Amazon hard, because the margins on book sales are slim enough as it is.
The HTML5 Kindle site appears to be optimized for the iPad. It’s accessed from the Safari browser in the iPad, so it routes around Apple’s App Store. That means Amazon doesn’t need to give Apple 30% of an eBook sale. Because the HTML5 site is very close to the functionality of the iPad Kindle app, this is going to have huge ramifications for Apple. Yes, Apple’s walled garden has just been structurally weakened. I’d go as far as to say that it’s a matter of months, not years, before Amazon pulls its iOS Kindle app from the App Store.