Screen-Free Wearable Hints at a New Era for Personal Devices

Published 04 May 2023

Founded by ex-Apple executive Imran Chaudhri, US-based artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Humane recently unveiled a screenless device that can take calls, summarise emails and assist users with daily tasks. The wearable could signal a shift in how consumers interact with technology sans screen-based interfaces, hinting at the dawn of an AI- and voice-assisted era for personal devices.

Humane’s wearable uses AI-backed projection tech to display incoming calls and text on a user’s hand or a nearby surface rather than on a screen. Responding to voice commands, the device – small enough to clip onto a shirt pocket – can carry out the same functions as an AI-assisted smartphone, including answering messages, verbally summarising information picked up from emails and scanning food for nutrition information. 

AI voice assistants, such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, were introduced more than a decade ago, and development has remained relatively stagnant since then. Critics have pointed out their flaws – including updates needing to be carried out manually by developers, which can take weeks – in the face of the new generative AI evolution. As highlighted in Generative AI: Tech’s New Frontier, prompt-based generative AI draws from the entirety of the internet as a database and is constantly expanded, making it more flexible and ‘intelligent’ than smartphone voice assistants.

Humane’s wearable works by combining the voice-based prompts smartphone users already know with cutting-edge generative AI output. This could prove a promising melding of both types of AI, updating old-school voice assistants for a new era and allowing people to benefit from generative AI’s helpful qualities without hours of screentime.

As reported in Feel-Good Tech, consumers are increasingly turning to screenless devices in a bid to combat burnout fuelled by excessive screentime – without having to compromise on technology’s mood- and life-enhancing benefits. 

 

Humane’s wearable uses AI-backed projection tech to display incoming calls and text on a user’s hand or a nearby surface rather than on a screen. Responding to voice commands, the device – small enough to clip onto a shirt pocket – can carry out the same functions as an AI-assisted smartphone, including answering messages, verbally summarising information picked up from emails and scanning food for nutrition information. 

AI voice assistants, such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, were introduced more than a decade ago, and development has remained relatively stagnant since then. Critics have pointed out their flaws – including updates needing to be carried out manually by developers, which can take weeks – in the face of the new generative AI evolution. As highlighted in Generative AI: Tech’s New Frontier, prompt-based generative AI draws from the entirety of the internet as a database and is constantly expanded, making it more flexible and ‘intelligent’ than smartphone voice assistants.

Humane’s wearable works by combining the voice-based prompts smartphone users already know with cutting-edge generative AI output. This could prove a promising melding of both types of AI, updating old-school voice assistants for a new era and allowing people to benefit from generative AI’s helpful qualities without hours of screentime.

As reported in Feel-Good Tech, consumers are increasingly turning to screenless devices in a bid to combat burnout fuelled by excessive screentime – without having to compromise on technology’s mood- and life-enhancing benefits.