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When technology does magic

Phil SCHILLER discussing Apple AirPods:

At the surface level, it’s an incredibly simple product. But the reality is it’s actually an incredibly complex product to make. Each AirPod really is its own computer, running software and hardware. And those two computers need to deliver this very clear experience that you want, and they have to work together, because we’re very attuned to synchronisation in audio as a species. And so it has to work the way you want.

Spectacular innovation is not always about flashy new things like virtual reality or 3D printing. It’s sometimes about making complexity disappears and technology does magic.

It’s easy to dismiss such products at first as plain incremental improvements. But they bring something past just being unplugged. The change runs deeper. If in doubt, check how many Bluetooth headphones are currently struggling on the market… But also think about how FaceID is making passwords or even other forms of biometric authentication seem clumsy and heavy-handed.

This is linked to one of my keynote this year on « Invisible Technologies ».

Published by

Philippe Méda

Philippe has been training about 200 startups a year since 2007, consulted for dozens of multinationals on rupture innovation or corporate incubation. He also teaches innovation in key MBA programs in Paris and Shanghai.