At least once a year people gather together to watch the CEO of Apple unleash the company’s newest product and software updates. This year, Apple introduced a new state of the art phone called the iPhone X. Many have wondered exactly how this phone will be different from every other iPhone that has been released into the market, and I decided to dig deeper to see where its most significant impact will be on digital business.
To understand what this new phone can do for business, I feel that it is important to first briefly go through the phone’s best features. The first is facial recognition. This iPhone is the very first released by Apple that uses dot projection within their updated 12-megapixel front camera. This TrueDepth dot projector, which will invisibly project over 30,000 dots onto your face each time you look at your phone, creates and builds a map of your features. The idea is that more you use it, the better the mapping. The “pay-by-face” feature is also being used as an alternative to Apple’s touch ID. For instance, instead of using touch ID (which will still be kept on the new iPhone 8) to pay for items with Apple Pay, you can now use your face. With this feature, Apple plays to customer convenience.
Companies such as the Cheesecake Factory use Apple Pay to create quicker table turnover. Cheesecake Factory, for example, uses an app called “Cake Pay” to allow customers to pay whenever they are ready. When you check in on the app, it generates a code that you give to the waitress. He or she then will input it into their point of sales system and punch in your order to which you then see on your phone. When the customer is ready to leave, you open the application, check whatever you have purchased, and then pay through Apple Pay. Using Face ID enhances the process and can generate even better table turnover. The second feature of this new iPhone X is Apple’s augmented reality kit. These smartphones can now handle 60 frames per second video and low-light situations, which are needed to power high-quality augmented reality experiences. This feature is going to put AR right into the hands of consumers. Companies that currently use Snapchat, for instance, have already started using AR in their apps. Snapchat has recently introduced animated bitmojis into their platform, which can boost the number of users. Those that will benefit from this increased user ship will be organizations such as The New York Times, McDonald’s, and Cosmopolitan that promote themselves through Snapchat.
Some other companies that currently use Apple’s AR Kit to enhance their business are IKEA, QVC, and Castorama. IKEA uses an application called “IKEA Place” to revolutionize the way they do business. Using Apple’s A-11 bionic chip, IKEA can show users exactly what the item will look like in their homes. This ability will help users make more informed decisions and can purchase their desired product with one swipe. QVC has taken a cue from Modiface and uses an app called “YouCam.” With this app, users can “try on” new products and get discounts as they watch and receive a virtual makeover. This will be great for user satisfaction numbers. Executives believe that eventually all TV will likely have some element of AR and will help to generate a new revenue stream. Castroama, a French do it yourself created what they call ‘Magic Wallpaper.’ This wallpaper uses AR to tell animated stories at bedtime using a dedicated app. The idea works in the following way: “A story appears once you scan a character but scan two characters and the characters interact allowing for hundreds of stories. Beyond a smart and fun app experience, the strategy to get multiple brand mentions and exposures is smart and long-term as parents read along with their kids.” I feel that this idea will help parents throughout the world.
Lastly, I find that this new iPhone feature will help companies gain insight into consumer behaviors. The Bank of New Zealand, for example, has used facial recognition software to gauge customer reactions to various financial scenarios. One of these scenarios involved how a person handled a situation such as having to buy a last-minute plane ticket to attend a wedding. The way this works is that “consumers who agree to be filmed through a webcam hear financial scenarios while the software captures their muscle movements to decode their micro-expressions. The feedback allows consumers to be more aware as to how their emotions may be guiding their financial decisions.” The system can capture subtle responses much faster than a human can.
Ultimately, I find that the new iPhone X will benefit many companies globally. Businesses such as IKEA, QVC, and The Bank of New Zealand have already begun to see the benefits of augmented reality and facial recognition software and hope that this innovative phone will put AR into the hands of more consumers.