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Smart WIZPR RING allows users to utter hushed commands to their AI assistants

Two AI-powered gadgets that have been creating buzz are Humane's AI Pin and the (irresistibly cute) Rabbit R1. Both are standalone gadgets acting as interfaces between humans and their AI helpers, but with different form factors: the pin is attached to a user's shirt or dress, while the Rabbit R1 is a handheld device the size of a pad of Post-it notes. Even smaller, and with an intimate mode of interaction, is the WIZPR RING by Seoul-based Vtouch.

Slipped on a finger, the WIZPR RING has a unique way of taking commands: when a user lifts the ring to their lips, its microphone switches on and is ready to relay spoken — or whispered! — instructions or questions to an accompanying app containing ChatGPT and other AI assistants. When the wearer lowers their hand, the microphone automatically turns off, so it won't hear or be activated by conversations or other noises. Why the hushed tones? A whisper is faster than typing but more private than speaking.

Besides using natural language to provide access to messages, calendars, news, directions, weather and more — all of which are read to the user through their regular earphones — WIZPR can also connect to Matter-enabled IoT devices to offer easy control of lights, household appliances and other objects. Unlike the standalone AI Pin and Rabbit R1, WIZPR is powered by its owner's smartphone. The ring just launched on Kickstarter and pre-orders are estimated to ship in July 2024; regular pricing is listed as USD 199.

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Consumers are looking for technology that not only enhances their lives through convenience and functionality but also adapts to their lifestyles with minimal intrusion. Interacting with AI assistants through a simple whisper allows people to integrate technology in a way that's seamless, secure and subtle. By making AI interactions more personal and discreet, WIZPR RING could change how people relate to their digital assistants, transforming them from mere tech tools into intimate and ever-present companions.

On a societal level, the ring and other devices with similarly hushed interfaces might pave the way for new digital etiquette and communication norms. Whisper functionality not only respects individual privacy but also enables considerate behavior when interacting with technology in public. As more people adopt mindfully muted technology, could overt and often disruptive interactions with devices become passé?

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