Trippy wearable AI tech offers a screenless future

Originally published at: Trippy wearable AI tech offers a screenless future | Boing Boing

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I dunno, it kinda reminds me of that laser projection keyboard we had a while back, which was neat on paper but ultimately impractical. Voice assistants are pretty frustrating to use already because of opaque UI choice. Wouldn’t a smartwatch be an easier solution?


An American, a German and a Japanese man are golfing one day and, at the 3rd hole, they hear a phone ring. The American excuses himself, puts his left thumb to his ear, his left pinky finger to his mouth and proceeds to have a telephone conversation.

When he is done, he looks at the other two and says “Oh, that’s the latest American technology in cell phones. I have a chip in my thumb and one in my pinky finger and the antenna is in my hat. Great stuff, eh?”

They continue golfing until the 9th hole when, again, they hear a phone ring. The German tilts his head to one side and proceeds to have a conversation with someone in German. When he finishes, he explains to the other two that he has the latest in German technology cell phones. “A chip in my tooth, a chip in my ear and the antenna inserted in my spine. The wonders of German know-how!”

At the 13th hole, a phone rings again and upon hearing it, the Japanese man disappears into some nearby bushes. The German and the American look at each other and then walk over to peek into the bushes. There they found the Japanese man, squatting with his pants down around his ankles. “What on earth are you doing?!” asked the American.

The Japanese fellow looked up and without pause, replied “I’m getting a fax”

(apparently from a Harry Potter book, but this joke was around long before the book)


The AI enabled earbud from the 2013 movie Her always struck me as a sensible interface. This isn’t far off from that vision.


I thought the same thing, too much of this presentation looked staged and non-functional for me to buy in that this was a real working technology.

The call has these little cancel and answer icons that he doesn’t even try to use, he just tells the device to answer. Are the icons fake? Hints about actions you could do? Real interface? Or maybe the whole projection is staged for this demo. Also, people using speaker phone in public is already annoys me, a lapel pin speaker phone only device is not a step forward. And I wonder how well a only or mostly voice command interface would work in a crowded bar.

He is mic’ed up but I don’t see a microphone for the device. I’m assuming all the real compute power happens off device and maybe they tapped the audio there.

I’d be this device has reached the “works well in a controlled lab environment, but not really good in the wild” stage of development. Quite a lot of tech gets to that point and either flops on general release or sits at that stage until some other change happens that lets it progress to become a widely adopted product. And the few bits of this that are really interesting could just as easily be put into existing phones or watches.


Battery life: one TED talk

Operating temperature: 200 ℉


I think we’ve found our new James Bond.

Yeah, my first reaction too. Who is comfortable using (or being surrounded by other people who are using) devices that pimarily operate with voice-based interfaces? People can already dictate text messages into their phones today but rarely do.

Also, the bit about testing iPhones with his infant child was disturbing. Steve Jobs took the opposite approach with his kids.

Edit to add:
I just watched the rest of the presentation and didn’t find his main points to be convincing at all. He talked about how these new devices will allow people to be more “present” in the world and immediately gave an example of how great it would be to check your emails while riding your bike through the park. Being mentally checked-out while doing a normally-enjoyable and engaging activity like riding a bike is the exact opposite of being “present,” not to mention somewhat dangerous because you’re not focusing on the task at hand. This guy clearly just doesn’t get it.


immediately my fossilized geek brain recalled some scenes from Zardoz with the ‘tabernacle ring’ (typical omniscient computer A.I. plot device) projecting its output

(given enough time all nostalgic scifi stuff shall be realized and then discarded (miss my flip phone already))


I agree. I think we still have yet to really feel the impact of earphones. That coupled with cameras embedded in the environment and our clothing seems like a great advance.

Contextual input seems easy enough, but what about our eroding agency? I forsee free (we love free) devices gradually chipping away at voluntary input, as we await our next coercion. I guess the only escape hatch will always be to leave the damn things at home.

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that was actually a thing some years ago…
seems quite easy to project a keyboard onto a desk…
but the audio…

I say it’s a google glass thingy…


wonder where they are now…

“While being privacy-first and safe and completely fading into the background of your life.”

Sure buddy. I’ll believe that when I, and an army of cybersecurity experts, have seen it.


John Scalzi – BrainPal – Old Man’s War


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