The Current State of AI Wearables

April 29, 2024

As a designer and engineering enthusiast, the continuous appearance of new, shiny AI wearables — especially the Humane Ai Pin and the Rabbit r1, has sparked many thoughts within me.

Here are some of those thoughts.

1. Nobody knows what an AI device should look like (yet).

When you ask someone to design a phone, they always have a clear idea on what the standard is. A mobile phone is made up of a screen, a couple buttons, and a camera on the back.

When it comes to an AI wearable, people have absolutely no idea what is should look like. It sparks creativity, creating one unique design after another.

Here's what we've currently seen:

  • A laser projector, paired with hand gestures and a touch pad on the main body itself

  • A regular display, paired with a knob and a button

  • No display at all, relying on a singular button and a voice interface

I'd say this is the most varied lineup I've ever seen when it comes to a new industry.

The main cause of the problem is that we have not yet decided on a final, good form factor.

We're not sure what's the best for an AI wearable right now. And until we find a killer use case for one, every AI wearable will be unique and different in it's own way.

That leads to another question—

2. What do we even need an AI wearable for?

Ok, forget the form factor. There's a bigger problem with these AI wearables is, what use case does it fulfill?

We're all trying to find a problem to a pre-built solution— the wrong way around. Until someone finds a game changing use case which solves a real world, mass market problem, Al wearables are totally pointless.

There's three aspects of our lives which probably need AI. Communication, health, and productivity.

I. Communication

Being able to have a conversation with an AI chatbot, like ChatGPT. I think the ultimate form of a conversational AI is one with emotion, memory, and suitable understanding.

So far, we've only got the understanding portion done correctly. AI cannot memorize, or recall anything perfectly, and it relies on context like an extended conversation.

II. Health

Routine planning, fitness coach, health statistic tracking, and basic analysis on your health statistics for any possibility of health issues. It sounds basic, but it might as well change the world.

III. Productivity

Connecting to your computer and digital workspace, an AI assistant might be able to help you complete tasks. Helping you keep track of meeting recordings, and things that you've said to yourself during the day.

This is the aspect which most AI wearables have attempted to take on, including the Limitless Pendant and the Open Interpreter 01 Light.

3. Why not an app?

One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to AI wearables is, why not an app?

Everyone's asking, and from what it seems like as of right now, nobody can answer it.

Humane responds with their bold vision of the future— where people no longer use smartphones, and abandon their mobile devices for an AI-powered pin that they attach to their chest. Their mediocre execution of the first generation's software has let people lost hope on the ambitious idea.

I feel like the AI wearable is something currently still of the future— one that is still distant, and something that the world is not yet ready for.

An AI powered app on your phone might as well be the present-day solution to the AI wearable.

There are a few apps currently that are in development which I do think will win the current AI powered app market. NOX (@heynoxcom), New Computer (@newcomputer), and many more are inspiring and really creative in what they are trying to achieve.

I've had a few thoughts of my own as well, so here's a few concept drawings I made.

Meeting transcript. Be able to record full meetings using AI and refer to it later. As your phone already has amazing microphones, you can totally create a feature like this within an app that:

  • Records your meeting transcripts

  • Analyzes and summarizes for key points

  • Makes suggestions on next steps and giving shortcuts on how to execute them

Recording of thoughts. Provide a microphone which you can always talk to. Imagine this:

  • Hey …, I'm interested in this quote from Naval Ravikant. Help me note this down: "…"

  • Hey …, I have a wonderful thought about "…"

Having an AI wearable as an app might as well be the modern day game changer.

Some more thoughts

There's a reason why smartphones are something we all have.

Smartphones succeeded because it was feature packed and every feature it had aligned with what we needed in our lives. The internet helped it succeed due to it's communication features and how we could talk to almost anyone across the world.

Maybe the AI wearable is the smartphone of the future— but until that breakthrough in finding a proper use case happens, it might as well be an app.


Money doesn’t change the world, ideas do.

Naval Ravikant

Money doesn’t change the world, ideas do.

Naval Ravikant