Brilliant Labs, a Singapore-based startup, has announced the launch of its augmented reality (AR) wearable called "Monocle". This pocket-sized, open-source AR lens offers a stark contrast to the more expensive and bulky counterparts available in the market. Priced at $349, Monocle can be clipped onto any eyewear or held to the eye.
The startup aims to integrate generative AI into its compact wearable, making AR more accessible in people's daily lives. The Monocle device has gained traction in the open-source community, with a group of Stanford students transforming it into a display for GPT-4.
The device can listen to a user’s conversation through their phone's microphone in real time, providing personalized support like suggesting conversation topics during a date. The processing happens on OpenAI’s server, and the responses are transmitted via Bluetooth from the user’s phone to Monocle, then projected to the lens in front of the user’s eye.
Monocle's lightweight design includes five processors and a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) accelerator chip that handles data from the device's camera, microphone, and touch sensor. The use of low-power electronics and miniaturized parts makes the lens compact and lightweight, at just 15 grams.
The startup aims to create a direct connection between the hardware and cloud-based AI apps, removing the need for a phone as a relay point. The long-term goal is to run deep learning models directly on the AR devices, ensuring low latency and functionality even without an internet connection.
The startup recently announced its $3 million seed funding round, led by Brendan Iribe (co-founder of Oculus), Adam Cheyer (co-founder of Siri), Eric Migicovsky (founder of Pebble), and Plug & Play Ventures among others.