OrCam MyMe – A Revolutionary AI Assistant?

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Artificial Intelligence has come a long way. But what comes to your mind when you come across this phrase. Perhaps the main antagonist from the Terminator series; an artificially intelligent program called Skynet that becomes self-aware and goes on to kill all humans? Or is it that robot called Sophia who, in an interview, said it would “destroy humans”.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

If its anywhere near either of these, then there’s a chance you might be terrified of the future. However, you’ll be happy to know that according to the current advancements in technology, we’re nowhere near that level of “self-awareness”. Artificial Intelligence makes use of connections known as Neural Networks that aid identifying patterns in complex scenarios to make decisions.

In Layman’s terms, our current AI can detect and identify something it has encountered before by simply learning the patterns. And the device we’ll be talking about today does just that.

Meet OrCam MyMe. OrCam is a small company, established in 2010, that has made artificial vision devices for visually impaired people. They currently have 3 devices; MyEye, MyEye 2.0 and MyReader. MyMe will be their fourth device as its still a concept waiting to be funded.

MyMe is a wearable smart device that uses AI to help you organize your life. It comes in a compact package that measures just 2.52×0.87×16.18 inches and weighs 17.2 grams. It has a clip at that attaches it to the front of your shirt pocket of dress and a 13-megapixel camera at the front to detect faces.

Image: Kickstarter

OrCam MyMe pairs with your smartphone or smartwatch via the OrCam app (to be available on iOS and Android in March 2019). Using its front-mounted camera, it will send a notification to the device it is paired with, with the appropriate information.

Features

  1. Facial Recognition
    OrCam MyMe can detect and recognize faces of people you interact with, thanks to its camera. You can then use the MyMe app to associate names with each face. What this will do is, whenever you interact with the person it has remembered, it will notify you with the name of the person. The purpose of this is to aid people who get to meet new people on a regular basis and have troubles with remembering names.
  2. Goals
    Using the first feature and remembering the names of people you have interacted, MyMe will allow you to sort people into individual groups or circles. Your family will be separated from your coworkers and friends. The idea behind this is that a person, with a regular job, can often fail to divide their time between work, family, and friends. This feature will monitor how much time you spend with a particular group of people and notify you accordingly if you’re spending too much time with one group. You can set your own goals as to how much time you want to spend with one group.
  3. Business Card Sync
    Other than manually typing in a name with a picture, you do have another option with MyMe to scan a business card or name tag. The device will automatically detect the name and will enter it for you. This feature is more of an added convenience than an actual need. However, it can come in handy if a person has a particularly difficult name to spell to pronounce.

Privacy

A major issue that comes with a device like this is that fact that since it has a camera that captures people’s faces and has the ability to connect with a device that has internet, it will, therefore, spy on you. To address this, OrCam has specifically mentioned that the pictures taken by MyMe are only stored in the device that it is paired with and not on the cloud.

Image: Kickstarter

Other than that, OrCam also claims that no audio is recorded rest assured. For now, we just have to believe them and reserve our final judgment when we get our hands on the device.

Pricing

The current pricing for this device is in accordance with how much you get to pledge (remember, it’s still a concept). The retail price is $399, however, you can get some early bird discounts on a first-come-first-serve basis. The first package lets you pledge $200 or more and you get you MyMe on March 2019 along with other rewards.

If you miss this, you can still pledge $259 or more for the mid-level package that doesn’t come with the same rewards as the first one but hey you’re still getting a discount. It delivers in June 2019. However, if you miss both of these, you have to pledge $399 and should expect delivery in January 2020. All these packages come with a free 5 years of software updates.

Verdict

The OrCam MyMe has the potential to be a game changer when it comes to smart personal assistants. We just have to hope that the final product does its job as advertised. For the current price, I would say that it’s worth it and if you can afford it, do pledge for it. You can pledge by visiting OrCam MyMe’s Kickstarter page here.

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