The Limitless AI Pendant builds on the mistakes of the Humane AI Pin with better, specific features

The Humane AI Pin garnered a lot of attention for how cool it was when it debuted. An AI lapel pin that you can talk to, and that projects information on your palm as well as takes pictures. Sounds incredible, but the rationale changes when you’re forced to buy one. You forget how cool it is and start thinking of whether the product makes sense – and therein lies the entire problem. Marques Brownlee made a video not too long ago, mentioning that the Humane AI Pin (in its current iteration) was the worst product he’d ever reviewed. The pin was slow, bulky, had battery woes, and was inconsistently bad at its AI features… but most importantly, it was a solution looking for a problem. The pin tried to become the smartphone’s replacement without really considering whether the smartphone actually needed replacing. That’s where the Limitless AI Pin is proving to be very different. Call it a coincidence that the product was announced merely a day after the Humane AI Pin received negative coverage, but the Limitless AI Pendant is vastly different (and at least from the demo video above), vastly better at what it does. Building on the Limitless app’s ability to enrich meetings and video chats with AI, the Limitless AI Pendant acts as your meeting assistant, helping you prep, transcribe, and annotate all your meetings.

Designer: Limitless

Right off the bat, the Limitless AI Pendant looks and feels better than the Humane AI Pin. Humane’s pin was large, bulky, and had one too many unnecessary details like a camera and a projector. Limitless’ AI Pendant ditches everything unnecessary by sticking to just having a microphone, and adopting a one-piece clip-style design that attaches to your collar, pocket, or even a neck lanyard without causing your shirt to sag. The lack of a projector means you can place the pendant anywhere without worrying about how it’ll project information on your hand, which gives it a major 1-up over Humane’s pin, which awkwardly sat exactly where your seatbelt would go, causing quite the hindrance.

On the usability front, the Limitless AI Pendant actually focuses on a very well-defined problem statement. Instead of being an arbitrary AI agent that can do anything for you, its sole focus is to work toward helping you navigate meetings with AI-enhanced preparedness. There’s no feature that seems unnecessary, nothing that’ll completely drain your battery even when you’re not using it.

Using AI, the Limitless pendant transcribes conversations (meetings specifically), allowing you to revisit important points later. It even intelligently analyzes discussions and suggests actionable items for your to-do list, saving you valuable time and ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. While other AI wearables feel gimmicky, the Limitless Pendant offers a practical solution. By eliminating the need for note-taking and manual to-do list creation, it frees up mental space and allows you to fully engage in meetings.

The compatibility with existing software like Zoom, Google Meet, and Slack is another game-changer. No need for additional downloads or IT department approvals – the Limitless Pendant integrates effortlessly into your workflow. Your data is anonymized and securely stored in the cloud. Additionally, the Pendant only records conversations with consent, ensuring everyone involved feels comfortable.

Where the Limitless AI Pendant actually turns out to be useful is in doing a great job of replacing your need to have a phone with you. Simply tap the button and the AI Pendant gets recording and transcribing. It’s simple, idiot-proof, and does its job perfectly without much room for error. This is made easy considering that it has a very well-defined job, unlike the Humane AI Pin, which was said to be able to pretty much do anything.

The Limitless AI Pendant starts at an attractive price of $99 during pre-order. While a subscription unlocks its full potential, a free tier grants 10 hours of AI features monthly, alongside unlimited audio storage. For those needing more, the $19 per month Pro plan offers unlimited AI features and audio storage, ensuring your creative flow never runs dry. Plus, the Limitless Pendant comes in a variety of colors, from classic black to bold forest green and playful hot pink, to seamlessly match your personal style.

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AI-Generated Floating Glass Museum Is Intended To Be a Symbol Of Environmental Awareness & Sustainability

Dubbed the Floating Glass Museum, this mesmerizing and jaw-dropping structure by Luca Curci architects in collaboration with Giulia Tassi Design is something to give a nod to. Designers and architects from around the world, as well as AI were also used to design the fantastic building. It is proposed as a unique and innovative symbol of environment awareness and sustainability, “where the history of glass meets the contemporary experimentation”. While designing the structure, the international design team drew inspiration from the fine art of glass-blowing that has been practiced by Venetians for around 1500 years. They harnessed the amazing power of AI to build the floating exhibition, which looks fragile and yet extremely powerful at the same go.

Designer: Luca Curci Architects x Giulia Tassi Design

The setting of the museum is truly beautiful. As you look at it, you will be transported to another world, where the water on which it sits is reimagined as a canvas for artistic expression, while also sending an important message out to the world – the issue of climate change. “Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent,” reads the press release. “It is disrupting national economies, communities, and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, weather events are becoming more extreme and greenhouse gas emissions are now at their highest levels in history.”

The AI-generated images and visuals showcase beautiful pastel-colored pieces of various sizes, ranging from hues of yellows, and oranges to pinks, offering viewers with an imagery that is bright, powerful, and almost frenetic. These loud pieces manage to create a space that is tranquil and almost meditative, while other pieces feature bright red and orange glass trees, and rather real-looking pink ones which establish a strong connection to the environment and nature. Other pieces seem to resemble massive chemistry sets!

The Floating Glass Museum is designed to represent a global environmental initiative, and it is created to be a space “where art, nature, and tradition converge: the balanced fusion of contemporary art and sustainable design that will invite contemplation, reflection and discovery” in the context of “cutting-edge design and a dedication to sustainability.”

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Razer Cthulhu gaming chair is something you might wish wasn’t just a joke

Forget about those invisible and impersonal AIs that are supposed to help you at work by composing e-mails, generating images, or even drafting a whole document for you. What you really need is an AI that will take care of your bodily needs while using the computer, whether it’s for crunch time in the office or, more likely, grinding experience points in games. At least that’s the foundation of Razer’s latest genius gaming accessory, a chair that knows your needs and literally gives you a hand, or a claw rather, so you don’t have to stand up for a bite or a drink or even a shave. Yes, this mythical chair is obviously an April Fool’s joke, but it’s an idea that could very well foreshadow the future that is both exciting and terrifying as its name suggests.

Designer: Razer

Named after the eldritch god but looking more like a Doctor Octopus arsenal, the Razer Cthulhu is a gaming chair that literally has a mind of its own, in addition to its six flexible tentacle-like arms each with a three-finger claw for the hand. The idea is pretty simple, really, and is exactly what it looks like. Just like the robotic appendages of the comic book villain, these arms act as an extension of the user’s own arms, performing extra work that frees up the person to do what they enjoy and do best: play a game.

What this “work” entails really depends on what the chair’s AI would learn from your habits and needs. It could be as simple as holding your drink or assisting you with eating, or it could be as complicated as giving you a massage or even shaving your facial hair. At some point, it could even start playing your game for you, allowing you to play a second game on a different device, like a phone or handheld console, without missing a beat.

Of course, it’s literally impossible to accomplish all these today even with the most advanced AI, especially actions that require precision and dexterity. You could even say it’s a tongue-in-cheek commentary on how we’re becoming too dependent on AI, putting our eggs, and our livelihood, all in one basket. That’s not to say it’s not a tempting idea for the future, at least within moderation. With human life and work becoming more complex, it’s not surprising that people will start wanting to offload some of the more mundane tasks to robots and AI.

Computer chairs are becoming more sophisticated, offering features that span ergonomics and convenience from different angles. There are even some that are like a whole encapsulated space for gaming and entertainment, so a chair with AI features won’t be that far from reality. We can only hope that designs will be more on the conservative and reasonable side rather than outfitting the chair with everything, including a kitchen sink, that would make use feel less human and more like cogs in a machine instead.

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AI-powered calculator concept can solve even handwritten math problems

Like it or not, and some definitely don’t, the things that AI and neural networks can accomplish these days are nothing short of mind-blowing. Never mind the rather dated speech recognition that has now become all too common, AI has now become famous and notorious for being able to analyze just about anything and generate something from those data points, whether they’re images, novels, or even the chicken scratch that is our handwriting. Turning human scribbles into digital text that computers can process has long been one of the Holy Grails of computing, but being able to make sense of those scribbles is a different story. AI has come to a point where it can not only understand but even solve handwritten equations, and that’s a capability that this smart calculator is harnessing to ease the pain of cross-checking math problems, almost like magic.

Designer: Divyansh Tripathi

It’s relatively easy for computers and even phones these days to recognize handwriting and turn it into their digital equivalent, but AI goes the extra mile by understanding those words and, in this case, numbers and symbols. Math solvers, just like AI text generators, are somewhat controversial because of their potential for abuse, but the technology itself is quite impressive and, just like any other tool, could also be put to good use.

That’s the potential that the OBSCURA smart calculator concept is trying to harness, offering an all-in-one problem-solving device for any and all numerical problems. Unlike your typical advanced calculator, this one comes with a camera so that you can take pictures of a handwritten formula and run it through a solver such as Photomath, Microsoft Maths Solver, Socratic, and others. It doesn’t stop at “seeing” formulas and problems, however. It also has a built-in mic so you can verbally ask it about the problem.

Of course, you can also just type out the numbers like with any regular scientific calculator. In terms of the device’s interface, what sets this calculator apart is a touch control that lets you adjust the viewfinder or move the cursor around on the display. In all other aspects, it’s pretty much like any other powerful calculator, just that it has AI running inside.

Of course, that raises the question of the purpose of such a device, especially when smartphones have access to the same hardware and AI services. A smartphone, however, also has plenty of distractions that can drag you away from the work at hand, especially if that work happens to involve disagreeable numbers. Obscura, at least, offers to do some of the rote work, especially with cross-checking solutions, but it’s still up to the user to be responsible with such great power in their hands.

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True full-color night vision goggles turns night into day with AI

There are 24 hours in a day, but almost half of those remains shrouded in mystery and, in some cases, fear. The darkness of the night makes us feel a little less secure because we can barely see anything, especially in areas away from bright city night lights. It’s an almost literally different world that’s just begging to be explored and enjoyed, provided we can see safely and adequately. Night vision cameras and equipment do shed some light on the subject, but they paint the world in dull shades of gray that make it impossible to actually enjoy the experience. That’s where the AKASO Seemor Night Vision Goggles come in, revealing the beauty and wonders of the night as if it were daytime, with some help from AI.

Designer: AKASO

Click Here to Buy Now: $189 $302 ($113 off). Hurry, less than 72-hours to go! Raised over $655,000.

You need light to see things, and that’s true for both our eyes as well as the cameras that turn light information into the beautiful images and videos we enjoy. Of course, there isn’t much light at night, so cameras need to either add more lights or use a different kind of light. This is why most night vision cameras, including security cameras, only see the world in shades of black and white, because the light that they get is only enough to see the forms but doesn’t have sufficient color information.

Ultra-low Light Full-color Night Vision

Fortunately, we have come to a point where what can’t be fully accomplished in hardware can be enhanced by software, particularly with artificial intelligence. The AKASO Seemor Night Vision Goggles is, in fact, the first of its kind to harness the power of AI for this very purpose. Labeled as “AI-ISP,” the technology integrates advanced AI algorithms with the binoculars’ Image Signal Processing (ISP) to enhance image and video quality. The result is a breathtaking view of the night in true full color, with rich hues and 99% color reproduction that blows any night vision camera out of the water. It accomplishes this without requiring more lights that would have disturbed the serenity of the night world and chased nocturnal creatures away.

Of course, AI can only use what it’s given, and the AKASO Seemor, fortunately, has solid foundations, starting with a large 1/1.79″ CMOS sensor that can “see” even with weak light. The more light it can gather, the more data the AI-ISP has to work with in order to create that magical experience of seeing the night in color. The visual range of the Seemor goggles is also mind-blowing, allowing you to spot human or animal movement 1,640 ft (500m) away or identify the outline of buildings that are 3,280 ft (1km) in the distance. All these stunning scenes can be recorded in high-resolution 4K, both for photos and videos, ensuring that those enchanting nighttime memories will be preserved in as high a quality as you saw them with your eyes.

The AKASO Seemor Night Vision Goggles isn’t just powerful, it is also simple and convenient to use. Built-in 2.4GHz Wi-Fi lets you connect to your smartphone both for remote monitoring of what the goggles see as well as fast transfer of photos and videos. Two 3,200 mAh batteries give you up to 8 hours of uninterrupted enjoyment, and two 1/4 nut ports at the top and bottom of the Seemor let you easily mount the device on tripods or even helmets. Whether you’re trying to observe the mysterious creatures of the night, chasing down urban legends, or simply trying to discover beauty in the darkness, the AI-powered AKASO Seemor True Full-Color Night Vision Goggles opens your eyes to a whole new world you could never see before.

Click Here to Buy Now: $189 $302 ($113 off). Hurry, less than 72-hours to go! Raised over $655,000.

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Cute, sweater-wearing android can help carry heavier objects

Whenever I write about robots, I cannot help but think about all the horror scenarios that I’ve seen in sci-fi movies and TV shows when they become our overlords after overthrowing abusive humans. But obviously, not all robots are scary in reality or at least we haven’t reached that point yet. There are also some cute and cuddly robots out there, both in pop culture and in real life. This new innovation from Toyota belongs to that latter category but it combines both hard and soft robotics.

Designer: Toyota

Punyo is the newest robot from Toyota but instead of looking like your typical robots that carry heavy things for us, it looks more like that adorable Baymax from Disney’s Big Hero 6. It’s even wearing a “sweater” that is actually functional as it actually enhances the robot’s capability to carry various things. Normally, robots just use their hands and their claw-like “fingers” but Punyo uses its chest, hips, arms – its entire body actually) to lift objects. This means it is able to carry heavier objects since it uses whole-body manipulation.

The arms of Punyo are made of air-filled bladders that can interact with different kinds of objects. Instead of the usual grippers we see on robots’ hands, there are high-friction latex bubbles as its “paws”. There are even internal cameras that are able to estimate the force that it needs to exert to carry whatever object it is holding. Inside the “sweater”, there are the usual robotic parts like rigid arms, a torso frame, and a waist actuator.

The name Punyo actually comes from the Japanese concept of “softness, cuteness, and resilience”. Combining the soft and hard robotics, as well as using teleoperation and artificial intelligence learning processes to train the android, gives us a holistic kind of robot that will not scare us but instead will be a helpful and friendly companion when it eventually becomes mass-produced. Hopefully, they will not be cute robot overlords.

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Best of MWC 2024: The Reality of AI

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have become such hot topics that even mainstream media has been giving them their 15 minutes of fame. Unsurprisingly, there are both proponents and critics of these technologies, but it’s hard to deny how AI is becoming an unavoidable presence not just in devices but also in services. Just take a gander at how many AI-powered or AI-enhanced designs there are at MWC in Barcelona this year. Of course, that’s not the only trend that’s gripping the mobile tech industry, and so we sift through the dozens of products and concepts at MWC 2024 to pick out the best designs that help live life to the fullest, with a little help from AI, of course.

TECNO Spark 20+ Pro

The TECNO SPARK 20 Pro+ is a remarkable choice in the affordable smartphone category, providing advanced imaging features and a stunning design at a reasonable price, perfect for today’s generation of creators. The camera boasts a 108MP lens with 3x lossless zoom and 10x digital zoom, leading to incredibly detailed photos. The large 1/1.67″ sensor size and F/1.75 aperture ensure excellent image quality in diverse lighting conditions. Its HDR Multi-Frame Fusion intelligently balances light and shade for optimal composition. The phone also features a 32MP Glowing Selfie Camera with an 88.9-degree golden lens, enhanced by AI portrait restoration, perfect for selfies or group shots. The high-end camera stack also includes TECNO’s 9-in-1 Adaptive Pixel technology. This feature increases light sensitivity by 900% and uses an ultra-large 1.92µm pixel to enhance your shots’ clarity.

Designer: TECNO

Vloggers will adore how it can record in 2K resolution, making it ideal for capturing important memories and putting your best self forward. Features like an automatic bokeh for movie-like effects, a night algorithm for improved low-light captures, and slow-motion support to enhance the production quality make you feel like a pro cinematographer without breaking a sweat. It also offers advanced video stabilization and dual-focus technology for diversified filming scenarios. The Dual View mode, which combines front and rear camera views, opens up new vlogging opportunities that will take your channel to the next level.

The high-quality Corning Gorilla Glass 5 makes it sleek and easy to hold thanks to an ergonomic design, and it is lightweight at 190g with a thickness of 7.55mm. With its pioneering 56.5-degree Ergonomics Double Curved Design, the phone is a sight to behold and a joy to behold from every angle. The Quadrant Star Array camera on the back provides excellent photos and adds balance, while the Sparkle Sand Pattern sparks interest and awe, easily making you the center of attention. The glossy back cover comes in three colors – Lunar Frost, Temporal Orbits, and Radiant Starstream, plus a fourth, Magic Skin 2.0 Green, for extra durability and an eco-friendly choice. Durability is another key factor that contributes to its appeal, with water and dust resistance features ensuring longevity. These aspects, combined with its high-quality camera system, make the TECNO SPARK 20 Pro+ a remarkable device that offers exceptional value for its price.

TECNO CAMON 30 Premier 5G

Photography has become one of the major reasons to have a smartphone these days, whether you’re an amateur shutterbug or a prolific influencer. Although manufacturers played the megapixel game in the beginning, it is now clear that takes more than that to produce breathtaking images and viral videos. It can be a complicated matter, but TECNO is simplifying it into a single package that is poised to revolutionize the mobile photography scene.

Designer: TECNO

Developed in collaboration with Sony, the TECNO PolarAce Imaging System on the new CAMON 30 Premier 5G adds an independent imaging processor just for handling photos and videos. The results definitely speak for themselves, and it’s a technology that will put TECNO on the global map when it comes to mobile photography. The CAMON 30 Premier 5G itself is quite the looker, inspired by the aesthetics of rangefinder cameras while still maintaining a stylish and classic appearance.

D-Link Aquila Pro AI M60

Our Internet needs even at home have become more complicated, and the routers of the past are clearly not equipped to keep up with the demand of all the smartphones, tablets, and smart home devices competing for bandwidth. More powerful and sophisticated routers do exist, but the vast majority of them seem to be designed to flex their muscles, showing off their antennas and bulky boxes that look more like technological monstrosities rather than an integral part of your home.

Designer: D-LINK

The D-LINK AQUILA PRO AI mesh router, specifically this M60 AX600, is like a breath of fresh air in this market, elegant, charming, yet also very capable. Inspired by an eagle in flight, the curved sides, bright color motif, and smooth surfaces try to capture the gracefulness of one of the most powerful birds of prey. The mesh router offers everything that its peers have, including plenty of AI-powered features, and still looks beautiful anywhere you place it. Its housing is even made of post-consumer recycled materials or PCRs, helping D-LINK give back to the very nature that inspired this design.

Honor Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design Edition

Foldable phones are becoming more common, with more players joining the competition. At this early stage, there is still plenty of room for exploration when it comes to design. Indeed, we’re seeing foldable phones that come in different shapes, materials, and aesthetics, all of them trying to mask what is really a large and thick slab of glass and metal. Honor is taking that to the next level with its partnership with the famed Porsche Design house, presenting a foldable phone that pushes the boundaries of what you can accomplish with such a device.

Designer: Honor

The Honor Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design Edition is unabashedly a luxury device, even more luxurious than how foldable phones are already perceived. As the name states, its design is inspired by the luxury marque, particularly the flyline that Porsche values dearly. But it isn’t just all looks either, with the Magic V2 RSR possessing features its rivals can only dream of. That includes the ability to use a stylus both on the internal display and, more importantly, the outer Cover Screen as well. Yes, its price tag may seem astronomical, but that has never stopped luxury items from selling well, especially when they’re made as good as this.

Honor Magic6 Pro

Not everyone wants a foldable phone, and for those who just want a regular yet beautiful handset, the Honor Magic6 Pro aims to deliver. It’s definitely a striking design, with a camera island that combines the circle and “squircle” designs that pervade the smartphone market today. Rather than giving in to flat trends, the Magic6 Pro wears its curves like a badge of honor, no pun intended, providing not just a graceful appearance but an ergonomic shape as well.

Designer: Honor

Of course, the Honor Magic6 Pro is also well-equipped with the latest smartphone technologies, from the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor to an advanced camera system that includes a 180MP telephoto camera. The highlights, unsurprisingly, are the AI features that enhance the user experience, like “Magic Portal,” which can automatically recognize addresses in a text message and open up Google Maps when you want to start navigating. Anything you drag to this “portal” will be analyzed by Honor’s AI to take the appropriate action, whether it’s searching, shopping, or other activities you’ll need help with.

TECNO Dynamic 1 Robot Dog

You probably never expected a smartphone maker to debut a robot dog, but that’s exactly the surprise that TECNO had in store here at MWC 2024. Putting a friendlier face and form to the design popularized by Boston Dynamics, the TECNO Dynamic 1 is reimagining what man’s best friend would look like a few years from now. But more than just a novel and expensive toy, this robot dog is envisioned to become a faithful companion to your household.

Designer: TECNO

In addition to mechanisms that allow the TECNO Dynamic 1 to gracefully imitate the natural movements of dogs, including climbing stairs and shaking hands, the robot dog is equipped with AI that allows it to navigate your home safely, just like those robot vacuum cleaners. Of course, that AI is also capable of understanding voice commands, obeying your every word better than a real furry pal. There is definitely plenty of potential for such a design, especially in security, so we’ll be waiting with bated breath for what’s to come.

TECNO Phone Materials Concept

The back of the phone is the most visible part to others, so it’s only natural that owners want it to be the most beautiful part as well. Unfortunately, smartphone designs are generalized to appeal to as many tastes as possible, which leaves very little room for customized experiences. Sure, we have seen some with vegan leather covers, but most phones simply use glass or plastic. Fortunately, not all manufacturers are content to leave the status quo as it is, and TECNO has shared some of the interesting and sometimes odd explorations it has made so far.

Designer: TECNO

Stereoscopic 3D effects, environment-friendly organosilicone fabric leather, color-blending leather, and colored textured glass are just some of the concept materials that TECNO has been playing around with. It even has fragrance leathers with microencapsulated essential oil particles to have your phone smelling as good as it looks. Not all of these make sense and they might not even make it into production, but the concepts are an important part of the ideation process that will lead to innovative designs that look and feel like they were made for actual human persons and not just faceless consumers.

Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 repairability

Laptops are slowly but surely dominating the PC space, especially as they become powerful enough to compete with desktops. There are, however, still some things it can’t easily beat its towering cousin. The modular nature of desktops means they’re trivial to repair since you only need to replace the broken parts. That also means they have a longer lifetime in general, reducing the overall e-waste that’s usually involved in upgrading and discarding laptops in just a few short years.

Designer: Lenovo

Lenovo is bringing that kind of sustainability to its latest laptops, particularly the ThinkPad T14 Gen 5. Collaborating with self-repair experts over at iFixit, Lenovo designed this mobile workstation to be easy to repair, scoring an astounding 9 over 10 on iFixit’s meticulous repairability index. With parts that are easier to replace, including a socketed RAM instead of a soldered one, the ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 goes a very long way to ensuring the longevity of these powerful and essential tools.

Lenovo ThinkPad Transparent Display Laptop

After staying nearly the same for decades, we’re now seeing attempts at redesigning the laptop without completely erasing its familiar form. Dual screens and foldable screens are just two of the latest explorations we’ve seen lately, but they’re hardly the only innovations possible in this space. In fact, Lenovo has just revealed what could even be more ambitious than a foldable or rollable laptop, one that has a transparent display and an all-glass keyboard to match the aesthetic.

Designer: Lenovo

Transparent TVs are starting to appear in the market, bringing a long-time fantasy to life. Lenovo seems to finally be satisfied that these transparent displays have become mature enough to be used on a laptop. Although still just a proof of concept, the ThinkPad Transparent Display Laptops is already very promising and mind-blowing, demonstrating what could be possible in just a few years’ time. It definitely sparks the imagination, looking like a functional prop straight out of a sci-fi movie set, and it probably prefigures the display-centric computers that are waiting for us in the future.

Humane AI Pin

Our smartphones are powerful devices, but they can also be a source of stress, distraction, and a host of other mental and emotional issues. But the world we live in today requires a connected lifestyle, even for some of the most basic actions. The Humane AI Pin is an ambitious design that tries to keep us connected while also removing the middleman that is the smartphone, providing the necessities of modern life without distractions and complicated apps.

Designer: Humane

More like a badge than a pin, the Humane AI Pin basically projects a simplified interface on your hand that you can control with gestures. It has a camera that sees the world around you and a cloud-based AI service that interprets it, which includes voice commands and queries for information. It’s like those fancy holographic gadgets you see in sci-fi shows, except it’s already here today and actually quite usable. It demonstrates that you won’t really need a smartphone for most of the things we use a mobile device for, freeing you to be more present in the moment and with other people.

nubia Music Phone

It may have been banished from smartphones, but the headphone jack is still a standard connector in other places, especially in the music industry. Bluetooth headphones and speakers might be improving, but some audiophiles still swear by their wired equipment, especially because of the flexibility they offer when you want to let others enjoy the same tunes you’re listening to. Inspired by the social aspects of listening to music, nubia made a surprising launch of a phone that’s designed to let you share your music easily.

Designer: nubia

The nubia Music doesn’t just bring back the 3.5mm port, it actually has two of them so that you can connect two headphones or external audio equipment at the same time. But if you want to share your music with the whole room, it also has an ultra-loud speaker on its back for maximum reach. What would normally be an unsightly component is made beautiful by making this speaker and the neighboring cameras resemble the design of an old-school turntable. With its distinctive appearance and its one-of-a-kind features, the nubia Music is clearly designed to cater to a fun-loving crowd that’s always ready and willing to share the things they love, including their passion for music.

nubia Pad 3D II

3D is becoming just as pervasive as AI in the tech industry, in no small part thanks to augmented and mixed reality experiences. Unfortunately, these technologies seem to suggest that you need to wear specialized goggles or even headsets just to enjoy these three-dimensional digital objects. The nubia Pad 3D II, however, proves otherwise, and its second iteration improves on the foundations that were laid last year to deliver a tool that can be used for both enjoying as well as creating 3D content without having to wear glasses.

Designer: nubia

This large 12-inch tablet utilizes eye sensors as well as AI algorithms to detect where your eyes are looking in order to adjust the display’s pixels and create a stereoscopic effect without wearing headsets or visors. It can even convert regular 2D content not made for 3D into 3D, all in real-time, with some AI help, of course. Dual cameras and, again, AI work together to enable users to capture the world around them and convert it into a digital 3D format that can then be used for your creative masterpieces. Whether you just want to watch 3D videos or you want to create the 3D content that goes into them, the nubia Pad 3D II offers a tool that will open up more possibilities without burdening your head.

OnePlus Watch 2

When they first launched, smartwatches and their proponents were ridiculed because of the idea that you’ll need to recharge your phone every night. Things have improved significantly by now, but we’re still talking around two days before you need to put the smartwatch down on its charger. There are indeed some designs that boast two weeks of uptime, but they also run software with more limited functionality to make that happen.

Designer: OnePlus

The OnePlus Watch 2 boasts around 100 hours of battery life, which is a little over four days. What makes this figure impressive is that it’s running Google’s Wear OS, which means it has full access to all the apps, integrations, and features that standard smartwatches offer. Plus it manages to remain stylish even with all the power it packs inside.

Infinix E-Shift Color Technology

The back of smartphones is the most expressive part of the device, a veritable canvas for displaying the phone’s character as well as the owner’s inclinations. Of course, not everyone has the same aesthetic tastes, but phones are designed to cater to the general public. What if you could design your own phone’s rear cover without having to commit to stickers or even protective cases? It would definitely be a step up from today’s designs, allowing owners to truly express themselves in different ways, even on different days.

Designer: Infinix

Infinix’s E-Shift Color delivers some of that freedom and flexibility by practically putting a display on the phone’s back. It’s not a regular battery-draining LCD screen, though, and instead leverages E Ink’s Prism display technology to let users select and even create colorful patterns to decorate the back of their phones. Since it’s based on an e-paper display, it doesn’t consume power until you change the design again. Even more interesting, E-Shift Color can actually animate these changes when the phone is plugged in, taking the charging experience to a whole new level.

Xiaomi CyberDog 2

Robot dogs are apparently becoming more popular to the point that smartphone manufacturers and tech companies are making their own commercial mechanical canines. Xiaomi is one of those brands that is dipping its hand (or paw) in this very niche market, and it’s showing off its second-gen design here in Barcelona. Looking like the robotic version of a Doberman with very short ear stumps, the Xiaomi CyberDog 2’s biggest stunt is its agility and flexibility which lets it even do backflips without breaking a sweat, or a circuit, in this case.

Designer: Xiaomi

Although it will hardly classify as “cute” like actual dogs, the CyberDog 2 has a distinct look akin to a muscular canine breed thanks to the faceted surface that covers its body and legs. Compared to its headless predecessor, Xiaomi has definitely made strides in making its robot dog actually look like a dog and be more approachable, hopefully even by kids. It’s still questionable what you’d use a $3,000 robot dog for, but the Xiaomi CyberDog 2’s more refined design, improved stability, and expanded functionality make it something worth observing in the months to come.

Xiaomi SU7 Electric Car

Xiaomi is no longer just a smartphone manufacturer, and nowhere is that more obvious than at MWC 2024 where it unveiled its most ambitious product yet, its first electric vehicle. The brand has been putting out personal mobility devices like e-scooters and e-bikes, and now it is taking its transportation dreams to the highway. Labeled as a “performance sedan,” the Xiaomi SU7 boasts reaching 60 mph speeds in just 2.78 seconds and a range of 497 miles with its 101kWh battery.

Designer: Xiaomi

The design of the electric car is quite noteworthy as well, and not just because of its blue paint job. The sleek profile and curves give a sporty character, and its elegant appearance would have you guessing which long-time car manufacturer produced such a beauty. We’ll still have to see how it actually fares on the road or if it will actually roll out to other markets, but Xiaomi definitely got people talking simply by showing off that it can also make cars as well.

Xiaomi Watch S3

Smartwatches have thankfully outgrown the days when they all looked more like sports watches rather than fashionable timepieces. There’s not a bit of variety in terms of designs, including some that try to mimic the appearance of classic watches and their faces. You can even replace straps, sometimes with standard lugs, to mix and match your style. There is, however, still one classic design element that smartwatches haven’t been able to implement, at least until now.

Designer: Xiaomi

The Xiaomi Watch S3 finally brings interchangeable bezels, letting you easily swap rings to fit your mood and style, even on a daily basis. It might sound like a very trivial feature, but it’s detail like that that gives classic watches their charm. Of course, the Xiaomi Watch S3 will only be compatible with bezels designed by Xiaomi or authorized accessory makers, so hopefully, the idea will catch on and become a standard feature on future smartwatches.

OPPO Air Glass 3

Some might consider the Apple Vision Pro to be overkill even without considering its price tag, and they definitely have a point. You probably don’t want to have your computer screen in front of you all the time, nor would you want to wear a headset while you go about your daily work. You might, however, want to be able to see your tasks and some notifications when you need to without having to fish your phone out of your pocket, which is where the OPPO Air Glass 3 comes in.

Designer: OPPO

Rather than promoting augmented reality, the OPPO Air Glass 3 espouses “assisted reality,” which is how it describes its focused experience that shows only important information in front of your eyes. It does not use tinted lenses or pixel-dense screens but instead employs a micro projector that displays appointments, todos, notifications, and the like without getting in the way of your vision. The glasses themselves look like normal eyewear, save for the very thick frame, and the improved optics prevent the occurrence of blurred images that would normally be observed in this kind of display.

Samsung Galaxy Ring

After many leaks, rumors, and wishes, Samsung finally revealed the Galaxy Ring, making it one of if not the first major tech companies to launch this kind of wearable device. By now, there are already smart rings on the market, but the Galaxy Ring has the advantage of having an existing ecosystem of devices and services that revolve around wellness and health. You don’t need to stray far if you want to give up your Wear OS smartwatch for something that’s more elegant and also more discreet.

Designer: Samsung

The Galaxy Ring is simple, nondescript, and minimalist, which is actually the whole point of such devices. Rather than the powerful smartwatches that call attention to themselves and become a source of distraction, these smart rings offer the basics of health and activity tracking without burdening your wrist. It will definitely be interesting to see where Samsung will take the Galaxy Ring and if other manufacturers will quickly follow in its footsteps.

Motorola Adaptable Display Bendable Phone

Although foldable phones have become a major focus in the industry, they’re not the only design that can take advantage of flexible screens. Rollable phones have yet to become commercially available, and displays embedded in textiles are still a dream in the fashion industry. Motorola has one such design that really pushes the boundaries of what smartphones might look like in the not-so-distant future.

Designer: Motorola

Dubbed the Motorola Adaptable Display, this bendable phone is designed so that it can wrap around your wrist, almost like an open bracelet. Unlike a typical foldable phone that’s just two flat slabs joined with a hinge, the entire phone bends flexes, and bends in this case. Of course, you can’t completely remove all the flat components that make a smartphone tick, but Motorola’s eye-catching bendable phone demonstrates what’s possible with a few more iterations and polish.

The post Best of MWC 2024: The Reality of AI first appeared on Yanko Design.

AI-powered synthesizer lets you create tailored music just by pressing buttons

AI has become a powerful and controversial tool that’s being applied to the creation of many things in different industries. The most well-known are, of course, images and text, but these same technologies can also be applied to other fields, even ones that are considered to require more human creativity than others. Music, for example, is believed to be an art that’s hard to master and difficult to quantify in a way that would be of use to AI, but that’s exactly what’s happening here with this “artifact from the future.” That said, the suitcase-sized synthesizer doesn’t completely wrest the act of creation away from your hands but turns it into a creative collaboration between man and machine.

Designer: Arvind Sanjeev

Imagine having to only press a few buttons and you’ll have tunes that are specifically crafted to suit a given mood or genre. Most synthesizers simply give you the raw controls to mix and match to your heart’s content, but you’ll have to draw from your own creativity to actually come up with a pleasing harmony tailored to fit that situation. SPIN, the name for this AI-powered music synthesizer, actually helps you in this creative journey by serving ready-made ingredients to put into your mix without taking anything away from your freedom. It’s like the difference between buying a can of tomato sauce for a recipe versus making your own from scratch.

SPIN has buttons for different moods, genres, and sounds that you can mix and match to your heart’s content. How does happy death-metal disco sound? Why not try some dark jazz opera to really turn heads? Not every combination is going to work, of course, so you’ll still have to step in and fine-tune it to your tastes, no pun intended. And with sliders for BPM or duration and a turntable to scratch, you also have the tools to make your own style shine, with or without AI’s help.

The synth is just as much a work of art as it is a demonstration of the power of AI. A variety of off-the-shelf components are assembled to provide the brains and muscle behind the scenes, almost literally. You won’t see any of these while using SPIN, as all are hidden behind an interface and a design that’s meant to encourage playfulness and experimentation. Even the choice of bright yellow and white colors, unusual for most synth designs, emphasizes that rather jovial character.

Generative AI has been receiving a lot of flak, in no small part thanks to abuse and misuse of the technology rather than anything inherent. SPIN is an attempt to reverse that perception and present AI not only as something approachable but even fun to use. Given how it works, you won’t even have to worry about infringing on anyone’s copyright or intellectual property, leaving you free to explore that harmony between human creativity and machine learning.

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Actual working Pokédex uses ChatGPT to identify Pokémon… and you can build one too

Let’s face it. You didn’t click on this article by accident. You’re as much of a Pokémon nerd as I am and there’s complete reason to feel excited given what I’m about to show you. A YouTuber by the name of Abe’s Projects decided to throw together a few components to make a rudimentary (but functioning) Pokédex and I CANNOT KEEP CALM!

This Pokédex works surprisingly like the original. Relying on the powers of ChatGPT to identify imagery captured through a rather basic camera setup, Abe’s Pokédex does a fairly good job of replicating the experience of the original from the hit TV series and comic book. Abe even encased his electronics in a wonderfully nostalgic red 3D-printed enclosure, making it resemble the original Pokédex to an uncanny degree… and if that wasn’t enough, he even programmed the Pokédex to speak just like the original, with a computer-ish robotic voice.

Designer: Abe’s Projects

The process, although fairly complicated, gets detailed out by Abe in the YouTube video. One of his admittedly harder builds, Abe mentions the first conundrum – planning the exterior and interior. The problem – you can’t 3D model an outer shape without knowing where your inner components are going to sit, and you can’t know where your inner components are going to sit without planning out your outer shell. Nevertheless, Abe designed a rudimentary framework featuring an outer shell, a few removable components (like the bezel for the screen and buttons), and a flap that ‘opens’ your Pokédex.

The internals feature a XIAO ESP32S3 Sense microcontroller that has its own integrated camera, connected to a black and white OLED screen (based on the Pokédex toy from the 90s), an amplifier that hooks to a speaker, a set of breaker buttons, a battery, and a USB-C port for loading all the information to run the mini-computer, as well as to charge the battery.

The way the Pokédex works is rather clever – it uses GPT4 along with the PokéAPI, relying on the latter’s massive information database. The GPT4 gives the device its AI chops, and an AI voice generator (PlayHT) helps create the signature vocal effect of the Pokédex. Together, they work in tandem to first, identify the Pokémon, second, reference the information in the database, third, display the Pokémon on the screen, and finally, play relevant audio about the Pokémon’s name, type, background, and performance. This does, however, mean that the Pokédex needs to stay connected to WiFi at all times to constantly tap into GPT4 and the PokéAPI (since nothing happens locally on-device).

The entire process wasn’t without its fair share of problems, however. The problems started with the software itself, which hung, crashed, and sometimes got overburdened with just the amount of heavy lifting it had to do. Meanwhile, the PlayHT audio generator posed its own share of issues, like an annoying ticking noise that played in the background as the AI spoke. Abe mentions all the problems he had in a dedicated section of the video, also outlining how he fixed them (hint: a lot of coding).

Once all the bugs were fixed, Abe took his Pokédex out for a spin. In all fairness, it did a pretty good job of identifying Pokémon strictly by analyzing their shape. This meant the Pokédex worked absolutely flawlessly when pointed at images, or an accurate 3D figurine or toy. It didn’t however, fare too well with plushes, which can sometimes have exaggerated proportions. That being said, it’s still impressive that the Pokédex works ‘as advertised’.

Building your own isn’t simple, Abe mentions… although he does have a paywall on his YouTube page where paid members can get access to behind-the-scenes content where Abe talks more extensively about his entire process. If you’re a coding and engineering whiz (with a penchant for Pokémon and 3D printing), hop on over to the Abe’s Projects YouTube page and maybe you’ll figure out how to build your own Pokédex too! Maybe you’ll simplify the process so simpletons like us can build them as well…

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Polaroid-inspired DIY camera uses AI to print poems instead of photos

AI today powers many devices and services with mixed results. Some produce truly mind-blowing images, captivating narratives, and critical information that help drive cars, vacuum cleaners, and robots. Sometimes, those very same AIs are abused for selfish gains or nefarious purposes. In both cases, it proves that AI, impressive as it may be, is just a tool that can be used for good or for ill, depending on who’s wielding it. Or it could also be used for fun, whimsical projects that, while not exactly advancing the field, turn those rather mundane AI applications into delightful experiences. This DIY Polaroid-inspired camera, for example, does take pictures, but what it prints out isn’t a flat facsimile of the three-dimensional but instead spits out an interpretation expressed in words filtered through the minds of digital poets.

Designer: Sam Garfiedl (sam1am)

Two of the most controversial uses of AI today revolve around images and words, both of which tread gray legal areas. Image generators are infamous for taking well-worded prompts and turning them into images that truly look professional, though sometimes end up looking like an artist’s copyrighted work. On the opposite side of the spectrum are AIs that churn out essays and articles that also border on plagiarism.

The Poetroid, thankfully, won’t be treading those same waters. It does turn images into words, but nothing that can really be attributed to copyrighted material. In a nutshell, this rather crude-looking DIY camera sees the world through a webcam and then produces sheer poetry, literally, based on the object it sees. After all, there is perhaps no better way to truly capture the spirit of a flower, a fruit, or a pizza than with a mosaic of metaphors mixed together in a “mellifluous meter.”

What is rather impressive about this little project is that it can be assembled from off-the-shelf components like a webcam, a single-board computer, and a lunchbox, among other things. The tin lunchbox is probably a bit uninspired, but it was large enough to cram everything necessary inside, with a little modification for the screen and buttons. If the name wasn’t a giveaway, the idea was heavily inspired by the Polaroid instant camera that revolutionized photography during its time. Instead of getting a small photo, however, you get a poem printed out on thermal paper, almost like a receipt and probably just as incomprehensible as one.

The best part is that the AI and large language models needed to pull this off can run locally on the device itself, preventing any private data from leaking and saving you from potential embarrassment over accidental photos and hideous poetry. There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement in the design of the Poetroid, and having all the necessary pieces known and available can go a long way in helping design one that will look just as majestic as the words it ejects from its proverbial mouth.

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