Feb 8, 2024 - Technology

Ex-Apple exec launches AI-powered specs

Brilliant Labs CEO Bobak Tavangar wearing the company's AI-infused glasses.

Brilliant Labs CEO Bobak Tavangar wearing the company's AI-infused glasses. Image: Brilliant Labs

Another former Apple employee is launching an AI hardware wearable — this time, it's a pair of round glasses that bear a striking resemblance to the spectacles often worn by Steve Jobs.

Why it matters: It's the latest in a wave of new devices designed around a built-in AI assistant, following in the footsteps of Humane's AI Pin and Rabbit's R1.

Details: Frame, as the glasses are dubbed, come from Brilliant Labs, a startup led by former Apple program lead Bobak Tavangar.

  • Brilliant also has backing from Niantic CEO John Hanke, as part of the $6 million in funding it has raised.

The central feature of the audio-enabled glasses is a multimodal generative AI voice assistant dubbed Noa.

  • Frame will also feature the ability to query the AI-powered search engine Perplexity.
  • The $349 glasses will be available for order today and begin shipping in April.

Flashback: Frame is the second product from Brilliant Labs, which previously launched an AR wearable called Monocle.

Our thought bubble: Hardware startups often struggle and the AI device field is still figuring out what features people want in a rapidly evolving market.

  • That gives an edge to companies with the deep pockets to invest in multiple versions of hardware, even if early releases aren't total hits.
  • Meta, for example, is on the second version of its smart glasses collaboration with Ray-Ban, and that product has a similar feature set to Frame.

Yes, but: Startups often bring fresh approaches and features. Brilliant Labs, for example, is pledging that Noa will learn about its user over time but also preserve privacy.

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