- Engineers and entrepreneurs are finding great ways to harness the AI powers of GPT-4.
- One of the most innovative approaches comes from Stanford University students, who channeled the powerful autoregressive language model through an eyewear platform to create next-generation smart glasses.
- Able to listen to conversations in real time, these smart glasses can be the ideal companion on first dates or job interviews (if you don’t mind the pseudo-monocle look).
The dream of smart glasses – glasses capable of ushering in a new era of augmented reality (AR) – has been around for at least a decade. Back in 2013, Google released its AR headset that looked more like it Star Trek-inspired visor than anything you’d expect to grace your face. After a decade of fighting for that AR future, Google threw in the towel last month and announced the end of Google Glass sales. Companies like Apple, Meta and Microsoft have similarly faced challenges when trying to make smart glasses or AR headsets that people would actually wear.
But now smart glasses may have finally found the elusive killer app to make them work: GPT-4.
Last month, Stanford University students designed a makeshift AR system capable of generating GPT-4 responses in real time. The result was smart glasses that were able to respond to conversations with helpful hints and suggestions. The engineers called the device rizzGPT, which offers “real-time Charisma as a Service (CaaS).” If you never know the right words to say on a first date or during a job interview, rizzGPT can help.
The platform uses a camera, microphone and high-resolution display called Monocle that projects the GPT-4’s real-time responses within a user’s field of vision — not unlike Google Glass. The Monocle display, created by Brilliant Labs, is designed for hackers and programmers to find ways to work on an augmented reality platform for (relatively) cheap.
The other big bonus is that the Monocle can click on most glasses, so it doesn’t require a specific headset to be useful (although it does make your favorite glasses something with a little more Monopoly Man flair).
While the demonstration on Twitter is a little too clunky to be used as a true AR tool for now, the promise is obvious. In fact, it’s so obvious that some companies are also already looking into how to integrate the powers of GPT-4 and ChatGPT into the decades-long quest for actually useful smart glasses. Last week, Innovative Eyewear (which basically does what its name suggests) announced that it was adding a ChatGPT voice interface to its app, meaning users could ask questions via the microphones embedded in the smart glasses and hear ChatGPT-powered responses. The company’s stock more than doubled following the announcement.
It is too early to say whether language models like GPT-4 are the missing ingredient in the development of actually useful smart glasses. But like many industries rushing to figure out ways to harness this impressively powerful AI, we likely won’t have to wait long to find out.
Darren lives in Portland, has a cat and writes/edits about sci-fi and how our world works. You can find his past stuff at Gizmodo and Paste if you look hard enough.