I started this newsletter to share my perspective on where artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction are headed in the near future: not a cloud-based dystopia of omniscient chatbots, but an enchanted world of embodied intelligence that brings our surroundings to life.
But don’t just take my word for it! There are products and concepts that give early hints of what the future has in store. In addition to my long-form writing, I’ll be sharing an occasional list of the intriguing things I’ve found.
As reported by designboom, Swarovski and Marc Newson have created a pair of smart binoculars that can identify birds and mammals using on-device AI.
I found these a wonderful demonstration of intelligence embodied in tools: a single purpose device imbued with single-purpose AI, unencumbered by an Internet connection. These binoculars will still work in a hundred years’ time, impossible if they relied on cloud AI.
At a current price of $4,799, they are still more of a luxury concept than a mass market product—but the underlying technology is simple and well-proven, so we can expect it to materialize in less extravagant forms.