By | April 24, 2023
Apple alumni unveil the smartphone of the future (or not)

After founding the startup Humane, Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, having both worked for Apple in the past, unveil their new project. In short video excerpts from a TED conference, one of them presents what he considers to be the device of the future, which could replace our cell phones and other connected watches.

A device entirely designed around AI

The ChatGPT revolution has not escaped anyone’s notice, but we are only at the beginning of the possible uses of artificial intelligence. Imran Chaudhri thinks his company has found a way to use AI to come up with a new type of device:

“Today I want to share with you […] a new type of wearable device, entirely designed around artificial intelligence. He is completely autonomous. You don’t need a smartphone or any other device to connect it. »

As you can see in the video clip below, Chaudhri wears the product on his shirt. It is a small box with different sensors. Unlike a classic voice assistant like Siri or Google Assistant, the latter is not triggered by voice, but by pressing the box. It is then possible to interact with it in different ways.

The first is obviously by talking to him. For example, we hear the device translate a sentence spoken by Chaudhri from English to French, using its own voice model generated by artificial intelligence. A process that is reminiscent the tool used by David Guetta to imitate Eminem’s voice.

The device is also equipped with a camera capable of projecting information, as seen here on Chaudhri’s hand, although interacting with this interface still seems a little blurry.

Another use case is presented when the device scans a chocolate bar to read its composition and give information relating to the food intolerances or allergies of its owner.

Many unanswered questions

As with all product presentations, their designers have full control over what elements they want to show. In this sense, Chaudhri’s demonstration is perfectly mastered and relatively impressive. But does this “projector” coupled with an AI-enhanced voice assistant really have the potential to replace our smartphone? For the co-founder of Humane, there is no doubt: “AI will drive the next leap forward in device design”.

Chaudhri also advocates the absence of screens, the very ones he helped popularize for 20 years at Apple by working on products like the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch:

“For the human-technology relationship to truly evolve beyond screens, we need something radically different. […] The future will not be held in your hands or in your face. The future of technology could almost be invisible. »

It now remains to know the weight of the device, its attachment system or the dangerousness (or not) of the projector if the latter accidentally comes into contact with the eyes. The question of displaying more complex information such as a map or an itinerary also arises depending on the projection surface.

To read : Google will integrate conversational AI into its search engine, and that changes everything

Note also that some people do not use the voice assistants of their smartphones, because they simply do not want others to hear their requests or conversations. Under these conditions, the new Humane device is more like a voice assistant integrating AI very well than a product capable of completely replacing our devices equipped with a screen.

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