Will Apple Help Us Catch Up To The Rest of the World?

When I wrote this post, Apple was still in the midst of introducing their new iPhone and Apple Watch products. Having made the switch last year from the iPhone to the Samsung Note (much to the chagrin of The News Funnel founder Michael Beckerman), I have to admit I was more interested in U2’s performance than anything else.

While the new products are great, and U2 is genius for giving away the album to 500 million people, the biggest impact of this announcement, in my opinion, is Apple Pay.

With Apple Pay, Apple is attempting to change the way we pay for the things we buy in person. You will be able to simply tap your iPhone, which will securely store credit card information, and pay at participating retailers which already include McDonald’s, Whole Foods and Bloomingdale’s, among others. So, instead of taking your wallet out, removing your credit card, and swiping, you can now just hold up your phone (which is already out…and if you say it isn’t…who are you trying to kid?) and off you go.

While this may sound like groundbreaking technology, it’s not. Ten years ago, this was happening in Asia at the grocery store, soda machines, etc. I remember a speaker at a CoreNet conference ten years ago talking about all of the tech advances in real estate and none of them were happening in North America. He said that every new residential building featured locks with fingerprint technology. At the time, not one of the top 10 buildings in the world (from a technology standpoint) was in North America. Has that changed?

Certified green buildings account for 20% of the floor area in Singapore. While you may think that green and technology are mutually exclusive, I beg to differ and will save that argument for a future post.

So, with yesterday’s announcement, it looks like we are taking steps forward, again led by Apple, but I ask the question, “Are we catching up to Asia yet?” If not, when is it going to happen and what is it going to look like?