What If IBM’s ‘Watson’ Would End Up In Your Hearables

Mano ten Napel
Founding Managing Editor at | mano@fashnerd.com

FashionTech Consultant, Freethinking Opportunist Hero, Aspiring to Inspire. Wearobot Groupie with a Tech for Passion. Contributed to Wired.com. Founder of WearableGuru.com Founding Managing Editor FashNerd.com

Remember the movie ‘Her’ by Spike Jonze? When Joaquin Phoenix fell in love with his Operating System called ‘Samantha’? (Voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Well, it might have taken about 3 years for the predictions in ‘Her’ to become a reality. A reality where IBM’s IoT platform and supercomputer called ‘Watson‘ is integrated in a wearable tech device.

Hearables

Well, IBM has partnered up with Bragi, the world’s smartest and the sophisticated hearable tech maker. Ok, Watson might not have the same sexy voice filled with genuine empathy like Scarlett, but the parties of this partnership thought that it could be a very interesting offering for the workplace.

The roll out is going to be in different phases. The Dash, currently a fitness tracker and a music player that is so incredibly small that it fits in our ears, is likely to be our next Artificial intelligence personal assistant (AIPA). It will be a wearable tech device that will start with translating services, which should make it easier to communicate with each other. The supercomputer will also assist in giving instructions, notifications and assist management through voice authentication.

IBM Watson Hearables

When we take Apple’s latest innovation (removal of the headphone jack and the development of the AirPods) into account, it seems all quite clear. We are slowly but surely moving towards a wireless future. On this Bragi’s CEO Nikolaj Hviid stated: “Why would a smartphone manufacturer take the risk of removing the headphone jack? It’s a huge risk with the potential to annoy and aggravate customers. Where’s the payback? Since the inception of Bragi, it has been a strategic objective of ours to have a key role in this transition. There is huge value for consumers by promoting simpler, more natural interfaces to computing devices. Removing the headphone jack is a necessary move to propel innovation in the smartphone space.”

More on the collaboration with IBM he continued: “Hearables will transform the way we work and have a tremendous impact on the business processes of the future, The Dash is uniquely equipped to realize the potential of truly contextual audible computing. We are very excited to tap IBM’s industry leading cognitive computing capabilities through the Watson IoT platform as well as benefit from IBM’s enormous experience in global innovation that touches people’s lives.”

ALSO READ: When EarPods Became AirPods And Why This Was Inevitable

Earlier this year we wrote about Microsoft working on a wearable device. With Cortana on board, Microsoft was supposed to launch it in 2016. The device, code named Clip, is aimed at busy mothers who would see the benefit in being reminded about what they need to do concerning the upbringing of their kids. Not sure if the device would end up being clipped on your earlobe or worn as an Earbud, the intelligence featured, offers an artificial intelligent personal assistant.

Hearables
Bragi’s The Dash. The world’s first smart earbuds

Hollywood’s Predictions’ Closing Gap

In the movie ‘Her’, the society that was portrayed was one where everyone was walking around with their own AIPA up in their ears. This has been a future predicted just 3 years ago.  It wouldn’t be the first time that movies have predicted our future. Movies like ‘Back to the future’ and ‘Star Wars’ are known for being quite on point with certain predictions.          An interesting aspect is the time span that it took for these predictions in movies to come true. If they are ‘translating’ what is to come, then we are all going to be in for a treat! After all, ‘Her’ only came out in 2013!

Ex-Machina's Artificial Intelligence might be just around the corner.
Ex-Machina’s Artificial Intelligence might be just around the corner.

Movies are a great way to help people imagine how technology could be of added value. When this gap is getting smaller I see a future full of marketing opportunities in Hollywood that go beyond that bottle of Coke, discreetly placed in a scene of your favorite movie. Besides adding value, the film industry could actually help viewers imagine and embrace technology much faster and easier.

Ok, but back to reality, it is only a matter of time before we will see super computing capabilities in Wearable Tech devices. Wearables could end up as the portal to the Internet of Things. I think it will all become increasingly interesting when an affordable, hearable device with flawless connectivity and user experience comes to market and not only be directed to the workplace but also to the everyday consumer.

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