SAN FRANCISCO, May 29 — A new kind of “audio computer” has emerged, taking the form of a pair of wireless earbuds and based on the idea of communicating by voice with various forms of artificial intelligence. The wearer can then converse with these agents for assistance, to translate languages or even remotely control their smartphone.

The Californian start-up IYO is causing a stir with its ground-breaking AI earbuds. Behind the initiative is Jason Rugolo, a former Google X engineer, who recently shared his vision of what he describes as an “audio computer” in a TED talk. “The truth is that we could all benefit from a little less screen time ... What I think is next is that we need an entirely new kind of computer. One that speaks our language instead of forcing us to speak their language of swipes and clicks. A computer that we can talk to. And not in the way that you speak at Siri with loud, robotic voice commands, but in the way that we talk with each other. So genuine, engaging conversation,” he explains.

IYO has developed earbuds that act as an intelligent assistant with which you can converse in the most natural way. Like any other computer, they are equipped with components including a processor, 32 GB of storage space combined with 2 GB of RAM, and are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and even 4G compatible. They can be connected to a smartphone or used independently.

This “computer” therefore has no screen, and takes the form of a pair of wireless earbuds. Its mode of operation is entirely audio-based. These AI earbuds promise to let you converse with AI agents, with optimised audio comfort, in a fully immersive way, without being distracted by ambient noise. This tool, which is intended to be particularly intuitive and accessible to all, could be marketed as early as this winter, in Wi-Fi and/or 4G versions.

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This surprising computer adds to the list of devices that have recently appeared as alternatives to traditional smartphones. However, after an initial period of hype, the excitement surrounding the Humane AI Pin and the Rabbit R1 quickly died down, notably after the publication of disappointing initial tests by the specialist press. It now remains to be seen whether the IYO One will live up to all its promises. — ETX Studio