The Future of AI Wearables: Enhancing The Human Experience
How the Latest AI Innovations are Making Technology an Invisible Companion in Our Daily Lives
By, Lauren Tierney , Venture Investor Decasonic
The Tech Wearable Evolution
In the ever-evolving landscape of tech wearables, we've witnessed the proliferation of fitness trackers, "always-in" Airpods, and VR glasses, as the industry continuously adapts to the growing demand for technology that keeps us perpetually connected. However, we're now entering a new era of tech wearables driven by a singular, all-encompassing force that has captivated the world this year - Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The rise of AI wearables may seem perplexing at first. After all, anyone who works or invests in tech knows that AI has been an integral part of many tech wearables, whether concealed within their design or prominently advertised. Nevertheless, as AI garners attention in the realms of the world's largest businesses and governments globally, it's also making a unique entrance into the tech wearable industry. Over recent months, products like the Hu.ma.ne Pin, Rewind Pendant, and Ray-Ban AI glasses have hit the market, heralding a new category of wearables – the "AI wearable."
Intriguingly, companies are emerging, staking their identity in this category to set themselves apart from the well-trodden paths of fitness, gaming, and health-focused tech wearables.
What one may not realize is that AI-enabled glasses are nothing new. Google launched (and eventually shut down) “Glass” in 2013, Snapchat launched “Spectacles” in 2016, Magic Leap launched their first Augmented Reality headset in 2017 and today has their newest “Magic Leap 2”. That said, recent innovations in AI allow for these wearables to potentially be 10x better and life-enhancing.
An AI-enhanced Life Experience
AI-enabled tech wearables hold the potential to shape a promising future where technology ceases to be a barrier between us and our lives but rather enhances the human experience, simplifying it for the better and enabling technology to seamlessly integrate into the background.
In this article we'll take a closer look at "AI Wearables" and their functionalities, as well as the future of wearable tech and how AI wearables will impact our lives for the better.
Hu.ma.ne: Redefining Human Interaction with AI
The Humane AI Pin unveiled on June 3, 2023, marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of AI wearables. This standalone device, equipped with a powerful software platform, harnesses AI to enable innovative personal computing experiences. Imran Chaudhri, former Apple product designer, and Humane co-founder, states, "Access the power of the compute while remaining present in your surroundings." The essence of this innovation lies in the potential to make technology nearly invisible, offering novel ways to interact with computing. Chaudhri envisions a future where we can engage with our digital world while partaking in the richness of our physical surroundings, revolutionizing daily activities such as managing emails while riding a bicycle or cherishing moments without a screen barrier.
I believe in this future where AI seamlessly augments our lives, making them more efficient, accessible, and engaging without creating further barriers. Learn more about Hu.ma.ne by watching Chaudhri’s recent TED Talk here.
Rewind: Perfecting Memory in a Wearable Pendant
Rewind AI takes an audacious step towards enhancing human memory and experience through wearable technology. Co-founder Dan Siroker, who personally understands the value of hearing after going deaf in his 20s, expresses the company's vision: "Our vision is to give humans superpowers, and we do that by using technology to augment our capabilities." Their pendant holds the promise of perfect memory, offering users a glimpse into what it's like to remember everything. Rewind AI's mission is to digitally record our lives, relieving the burden on our own memories. Their software, available for Mac, iOS, and soon Windows, records every digital interaction and serves as the bridge between the virtual and the real world.
While possessing perfect memory can present challenges, as humans, we are not designed to recollect every moment of our lives. On the flip side, this presents an opportunity for parents to cherish every moment of their children's childhood, preserving these memories for eternity. Similarly, a bride and groom on their wedding day can etch these core memories into permanence. From an investment standpoint, the potential for memory-enhancing technology is not a novel concept, as we've witnessed its applications in Zoom calls and beyond. However, this personal life application opens up new avenues to more authentically capture the human experience.
Meta AI Glasses: AI at Eye Level
Meta AI is set to redefine human-computer interaction with its innovative conversational assistant, designed to integrate with popular messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. This technology is not limited to just these apps; it is accessible through the Ray-Ban smart glasses. This advancement signifies a shift in the world of tech wearables from large, intrusive devices to experiences that immerse us in the real world while retaining the benefits of cutting-edge technology. The ability to livestream from the glasses and interact with Meta AI using voice commands, such as "Hey Meta," offers an intriguing glimpse into the future.
Meta entered into the market by coining “Ray-Ban Stories”, a concept that may sound familiar to “Snapchat Stories” and the product not being far off from Snapchat's 'Spectacles' which were unveiled five years ago. However, despite its early debut, Spectacles have yet to make a significant impact for the company. Furthermore, sporting a $300 price tag and bearing the Meta name, 'Ray-Ban Stories' may encounter its own set of challenges in gaining traction. As an early user of Meta's AI-equipped Ray-Ban glasses, I believe there is room for improvement in terms of their ability to deliver high-quality AI-enabled responses. Presently, I would liken the device's capabilities to those of 'Hey Siri' on your iPhone or AirPods, albeit in the form of glasses with less advanced AI technology.
Will Tech Fade into the Background or Rule Our Lives Even More?
These advancements paint a picture of tech wearables shifting from large, intrusive devices to more immersive and unobtrusive experiences, raising the question of whether these innovations are taking us back to an era of technology fading into the background, allowing us to truly engage with life.
As an investor in the future of a more immersive internet, my central thesis remains unchanged - technology will continue to play an increasingly prominent role in our lives. The key, however, is whether applications are built to enhance, rather than hinder, our lives. With the increased growth in computing power and the remarkable strides in AI, we've seen in 2023, my vision is that with the right founders at the helm, technology is poised to become more unobtrusive, residing in the background while actively improving our lives.
The possibilities with AI wearables are endless, and one might hypothesize that the future could hold smart contact lenses, the ability to answer emails without screens, and the capacity to schedule appointments with mere thoughts. While these ideas may sound esoteric and daunting, they also could hold the promise of liberating humans from mundane tasks, granting more time for the things that require their most brainpower and time with loved ones.
As we look ahead at the wearable tech landscape, like all innovative developments, we're presented with a duality of exciting use cases and ethical concerns. On one hand, we see the potential to enhance productivity, memory, and organization, while on the other, we must grapple with issues of privacy and the impact of remembering things that are meant to be forgotten. These dilemmas underscore the need for responsible and ethical development as we chart a course into a future where technology is not a barrier but an enabler of our human experience.
From the beginning, it has been my thesis that technology, when used correctly, can make the human experience 10x better, easier, and even healthier, and as an investor, I call upon founders building at this intersection to get connected.