March 10, 2016

A new wearable device that will unobtrusively act as a personal assistant without making you look weird is gaining tech fans everywhere. It’s called MyMe  and it is made by OrCam, the Jerusalem-based company that harnessed the power of artificial vision to assist people who are visually impaired.

Unlike Google Glass, the augmented-reality assistant whose wearers were mocked in public, MyMe wearers won’t stand out in any unusual way. This new clip-on device looks like a pendant and acts like a personal assistant that will watch the world for you and offer helpful information to use now or later.

“It’s a wearable wellness device and personal assistant device,” Yonatan Wexler, the company’s head of R&D, tells ISRAEL21c.

The device receives, decodes and categorizes video and audio input in real time, like an extension to the wearer’s awareness.

The proprietary technology continuously processes these video and audio signals to provide helpful information like a list of foods eaten during the day, visual surroundings and activities. It can even help you remember how you know someone you’ve just bumped into.

Users can access the useful information on their smartphones, smart watches or via a Bluetooth earpiece.

“The application of OrCam MyMe extends far beyond traditional activity trackers,” says Prof. Amnon Shashua, cofounder of OrCam. “For example, it can provide a real-time profile of people as they walk up to you during a conference, displaying their details on your smartphone or watch; it can track your eating habits – what you eat and how it fits in with your diet; it can summarize for you your daily activity and let you know what proportion of your time you spent in meetings, at the gym, playing with your children or reading a newspaper; it can even monitor the facial expressions of people you meet and topics of discussion and let you know in hindsight the quality of interaction you have with friends and family.”

Most importantly, Shashua says, privacy is not an issue.

“The privacy of people around you is left undisturbed as the device does not save any image and does not record any sound,” he says.

Power-efficient technology

MyMe’s successful unveiling at CES 2016  in Las Vegas in January has already launched a wave of interest even though you can’t buy it yet.
The device will be rolled out throughout 2016, first to developers and in the second half of the year to consumers.

“The reactions at CES were split. On the one hand, people said, ‘Wow, this is amazing but I don’t think you can do it.’ The others said, ‘This is science fiction and I have to have it,’” Wexler tells ISRAEL21c.

The non-believers should take a look at OrCams’s MyEye solution for the visually impaired or its founder’s other company, Mobileye, which makes collision-avoidance optical technology to reduce the risk of car accidents. Both companies are big successes.

Actually, the MyMe technology is an advanced version of the power-efficient MyEye.

MyMe uses unique proprietary technology that gives it the ability to perform complex artificial intelligence tasks on a very small and power-efficient wearable platform, lasting all day on a single charge.

And while it’s hardly the first technological personal assistant – 24me and  have been on the market for nearly five years – the company says MyMe is “the first wearable AI.”
Moreover, MyMe has endless potential applications.

As such, OrCam is planning to host a hackathon in the coming months and let tech whizzes go wild on the open platform. The supplied software development kit (SDK) will allow developers to leverage the AI capabilities of the device and write their own applications.

When it does hit the market later this year, MyMe will be made available together with the first built-in wellness tracker application.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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