Would you wear an augmented reality monocle?

Augmented reality - Person with Monocle

The founder of Oculus has invested in that type of gadget, able to communicate using ChatGPT.

The virtual and augmented reality pioneer behind Oculus is now investing in an AR monocle that is able to communicate with ChatGPT.

The device combining AR and AI is being developed by a startup called Brilliant Labs.

Brilliant Labs is working to combine artificial intelligence and augmented reality into a single monocle that can be worn by users for a new and unique experience. The startup’s founders, Bobak Tavanger, Raj Nakarja, and Benjamin Heald recently brought in more than $3 million in funding to pursue this gadget. Among the backers include huge names in the technology industry.

Augmented reality - Technology - Funding

Among those big names is Brendan Iribe, the co-founder of Oculus, the massive VR company that Facebook (now called Meta) acquired back in 2014. Iribe stayed on as CEO of Oculus for another two years under Facebook, and then remained with that company until 2018, when he left entirely over disagreements with respect to the social media giant’s VR strategy.

Also invested in this device is Adam Cheyer, the co-inventor of Siri, the voice assistant from Apple.

Iribe sees potential in augmented reality, even after doubting VR due to the nausea it caused most users.

Iribe appears to see the promise in Brilliant Labs, which is working to rejuvenate the AR industry with a fresh approach. It is building the monocle device as an AR lens that can be clipped onto any conventional eyeglasses frame.

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The monocle is based on an open-source approach, making it possible for users to create their own apps able to interact with ChatGPT and other types of generative AI app.

The monocle has its own built-in microphone allowing users to communicate with the device through AI apps.

Brilliant Labs has developed an arGPT app using the monocle’s built-in microphone, enabling GPT-4 dialog to occur.

The original Monocle launched in March, with a $349 price tag. As such, the augmented reality gadget is considerably cheaper than AR headsets currently available. It is small enough to slip into any pocket and weighs only 15 grams – about the weight of three nickels or an empty pop can.

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