Think of the following scenario. You call a team meeting to brainstorm marketing strategies for a new prototype of your existing product. Unfortunately, none of your team members have data available about the performance of the earlier prototypes. Suddenly you ask Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, ‘How many people are using our existing product? Also, please share a few critical customer reviews of the product received on social media.’ And within a few seconds, the requested information appears on all the digital devices in the meeting room.
Wearable devices like Apple’s AirPods enables users to connect with Apple devices through Siri. The company is also working on earbuds that record the wearer’s body temperature, heartbeat, and movement. Similarly, Google Pixel buds allow the wearer to interact with a wide array of Google Apps through the Google Assistant. The wearer can update their calendar, send a mail, set timers, and manage lists through the buds. It also provides recommendations, automates personal communication, and allows control over IoT devices.
Voice-enabled AI is undoubtedly better than mobile phones when you have to search for something on the internet or send an email. But consider the following situation. You are inside a temple where people are chanting mantras loudly. How will you give voice commands and instructions in such a scenario? Thus, voice-enabled AI wearables can be used only in specific contexts.
How wearable AI will amplify human intelligence
AlterEgo, a project developed by MIT Media Lab, is a device that has the potential of completely transforming the way we communicate. It’s worn over the ear and along the jawline. It’s a non-intrusive device that picks up electrical signals sent by the brain to the speech organs. The user has to think of what he wants to say, and the device will record the electrical signals. It will then convert these signals into commands to control other IoT devices or query information on search engines. The user receives the information through audio, thereby keeping the entire communication loop discreet.
Wearable AI is also making headlines in industrial and enterprise software. Do you remember Google Lens that failed to make a mark in the commercial market? Today, GE uses smart eye-wear technology that enables its technicians to use guided instructions that appear in their field of view. It reduces errors and increases their efficiency while repairing equipment.
Scientists and visionaries view that we will soon see the advent of technology that will understand the emotions and moods of the consumers. It will be less intrusive and enable companies to extract useful data to formulate to-the-point marketing strategies. For example, Pharma companies will be able to predict which customer has a higher probability of falling sick and stock essential medical supplies in advance.
Companies should keep in mind that they have ample reasons for investing in developing intelligence-amplifying devices. In the future, these devices will reduce the knowledge gaps that exist between the customers and the companies today. It will also create new communication ecosystems that will give rise to innovative apps and allow all stakeholders to effectively deal with each other.
Designing and using wearable technologies will require close-knit collaboration from everyone, including researchers, web app designers, data scientists, and end consumers. But this also calls for addressing a mountain of challenges. When wearable AI becomes common, matters such as data privacy, transparency, and autonomy will come to the fore. These issues are already being discussed around the globe due to high-profile data breaches.
But the real question is, what will happen when AI gains the ability to extract even more private customer details? Will the society, government, and the business fraternity allow that to happen is a question that only time will answer.
Nishant likes to read and write on technologies that form the bedrock of modern-day and age like machine learning, data science, AI, and robotics. His expertise in content marketing has helped grow countless business opportunities. Nishant works for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of ERP and CRM Software to small and mid-sized businesses.