Jake Langholz, an Engineer at BCG Digital Ventures’ Seattle Lab and Elliot Kartus, an IT Specialist in our Manhattan Beach Center, discuss the implications of the recent Apple Special Event, including the advent of AR, security concerns with Face ID and more.

Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably aware that Apple announced their latest product offerings at the new Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, CA on Tuesday. In anticipation of this event, nearly 40 of DV’s most enthusiastic engineers and tech experts from all over the world gathered on Slack to discuss in real-time.

As the event streamed live, the Apple super fans and the Apple doubters were both out in full force, leading to a passionate–and at times heated–discussion. Arguments from both sides not only reflect the broader spectrum of consumer viewpoints, but also the range of work we do at DV and how it shapes the way we think about new technology.

Two key themes stuck out in particular for us:

1) We are on the dawn of AR taking on a new meaning in our lives.  

2) Security is no longer just about data breaches–it’s about our identities.


AR for the Masses

JAKE-CIRCLE   As Seen by Jake

Buzz around AR has been big this year, and Apple’s offering did not disappoint. Not only was the release of the AR Kit one of the more exciting presented, it was especially meaningful because Apple has a history of ushering in complex technologies for mainstream use.

From personal computers to MP3 players to smartphones, we’ve seen new technologies take off once Apple gets them in the hands of consumers, and the AR Kit is no different. We believe it will allow consumers and developers alike to experiment with AR and understand its implications, leading to widespread use in the next few years.

No, Apple didn’t invent AR, but they are finding a way to make it accessible to the masses like only they can do. While it’s possible to leverage AR with single cameras and either anchors or infrared light/sensors, the best AR is achieved with multiple cameras.

Mobile development with AR has been possible for a while with Project Tango, but iPhone X and AR Kit have a much better chance of bringing true AR into the average consumer’s hands with Apple’s devout mass of consumers.

As engineers, we’re anxiously awaiting the next wave of mobile software innovation that iPhone X and AR Kit are ushering in, and we will surely be taking a crack at AR development on iOS ourselves.

Securing Your Identity

ELLIOT-CIRCLE   As Seen by Elliot

Behind the scenes from the glitz and glam of the product showcase, Apple also released some critical security features in iOS 11 that we believe will make a huge impact on how we interact with our phones–specifically around the seizure of data. Apple has always been sensitive to security, and this is one more layer they are adding to help consumers feel safe with new technology.

Ever wondered what would happen to your iPhone if you were to be arrested? Currently (in the U.S.), law enforcement cannot demand you to either disclose your passcode or unlock your phone with it without a warrant. Considered ‘what you know,’ this information is protected by the fifth amendment’s protection from self-incrimination.

They can, however, demand you unlock your iPhone using Touch ID (or Face ID) because your fingerprint is considered ‘what you are,’ and therefore not protected by the fifth amendment. In iOS 11, Apple has created a fix in the form of a ‘panic button’ feature for users who want to avoid personal information on their device from being searched.

Activated by quickly pressing the power button five times in a row, the panic feature automatically locks your phone, disabling both Touch ID–or presumably, Face ID–until your phone is unlocked with a passcode.

Apple has also updated security settings when connecting your iPhone to a new computer. Previously, you simply had to hit a ‘trust’ confirmation to allow it to connect to the computer and for a backup to be made. In iOS 11, however, the user must first input their passcode. So, even if you’re forced to unlock your phone using Touch/Face ID, your passcode would still be required to extract your data from the phone.

Overall, we expect to see a slower adoption rate of Face ID than with fingerprint security because it is a behavior change (and the iPhone X will hit your wallet pretty hard, too). Tech savvy users may be wary at first, but the novelty will likely keep the majority of users intrigued.

At DV, we’re always on the lookout for emerging technology that can be leveraged to create new growth. Our team of experts–Apple enthusiasts and naysayers alike–will be watching closely as the device rolls out. Stay tuned as we continue the conversation beyond Apple to other applications of exciting new tech!

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