Like many tech geeks, enthusiasts, and arm chair industry analysts, yesterday I sat through about two hours of sermon from the church that Steve built.
The facial recognition feature is getting a lot of attention around what it does for the user experience while enhancing security for the user. With that said, the ah-ha moment for me didn't come with the introduction of the Animoji, but when they applied that front facing camera and sensors to create the new Snapchat filters.
Apple just didn't enable a better filter - they have ushered in the future of ecommerce
A few years ago when I was working at 1-800 Contacts I witnessed the creation of one of the coolest new apps from our glasses.com team - a virtual try-on tool for glasses that took the relatively poor quality of an ipad camera to scan your face and head so that the App could realistically place glasses on your face while accounting for shadows, weird nose, ear and eye alignment and depth issues while delivering an experience that would facilitate and enable ecommerce
The App was way ahead of its time - but it worked great and ultimately was part of the deal that saw glasses.com get sold to Luxxotica (this happened after I left the company). Although the App worked really well, people used it mostly to showroom glasses frames and then searched the web for the best prices and generally bought elsewhere
By offering a superior camera with built-in sensors and technology to do facial (and potentially fuller body) scanning, Apple just made it easy for any retailer or ecommerce site to build their own virtual try-on experience.
Couple that with their new augmented reality tool kit, and suddenly you can picture a world in the very near future where trying before buying becomes a seamless experience from the comfort of your living room or wherever you please. Your smartphone will finally become your ultimate shopping companion and no longer be used just to search for the best price or look for reviews after you've narrowed your choice down.
Your smartphone is now also your shopping discovery tool - or an upper funnel enabler as marketers like to call it.
Gone are the days when companies had to absorb the cost of physically sending products for consumers to try-on in their home first before deciding what to keep and buy. Although Zappos did this successfully, many others just couldn't take on that cost and stay profitable overall. It's not a model that scales very well.
I have no doubt that most of the focus in the days ahead will be on Animojis (and the in-appropriate ways people will use or spoof them) and filters - but by this time next year the industry will be much more focused on how the iphone x ushered in a new era in ecommerce.