ChatGPT, the large language model from OpenAI, has been seemingly everywhere since its debut late last year. Now, the YouTube channel MayLabs has come up with a way for you to actually use it anywhere, without a phone or PC. Instead, the channel has gone the maker route and whipped up a DIY smartwatch that answers spoken questions with short responses from ChatGPT. Take that, Siri and Google Assistant.
In the video, a maker going by the alias "Frumtha Fewchure" develops the watch with processing from a Raspberry Pi 4B (it appears, at least from the kit MayLabs uses is in its video link, that it's an 8GB model). The Pi sits in a case that clips to a belt, along with an external battery to power it. From there, wires go through a jacket sleeve tether to a 3D-printed gauntlet on his forearm.
The video's creator tells us that they "think it will work with a less powerful [P]i," but that a Raspberry Pi Zero might be too much, as the speech recognition might crash the least powerful single-board computers.
The watch portion features LED lights (to let you know when the mic is on), several buttons, a 0.96-inch, two-color OLED screen and mounts for two Apple Watch straps. The buttons are 6 x 6 x 4.3 mm tactiles. Frumtha Fewchure told Tom's Hardware that a "secret" LED mentioned in the video is for use as an IR emitter so that the watch can be used as a universal remote in eventual updates.
Let's not pretend that the watch looks attractive. But MayLabs claims that this smartwatch is the first of its time, so perhaps there will be later, less janky iterations down the road.
The code, which runs on the Pi, checks for one of three button press. You can get some CPU statistics or a watch face, but the real magic is in the button that tells the watch to connect to the ChatGPT API to ask questions. Answers appear as text on the display, and also through audio, assuming you have attached headphones (wired or Bluetooth), as there aren't any speakers.
For speech recognition, Frumtha Fewchure says the watch is using an offline speech recognition kit called Vosk.
That being said, the device still does require an internet connection to send information to and from ChatGPT. You can connect to Wi-Fi on your home network, but when testing the watch at a coffeee shop, MayLabs connects the device to a smartphone hotspot.
MayLabs lists many of the necessary parts to build your own ChatGPT watch, including a screen, microphone, Raspberry Pi, buttons, LEDs and a breadboard in their video description (and also says you can swap many of those out). But the channel hasn't published code on GitHub or released any schematics for 3D printing the actual watch portion, so you're still on your own for some major portions of the project.
My Apple Watch may look nicer in comparison, but I've learned to relegate Siri to setting timers. I wouldn't walk through airport security wearing this ChatGPT watch, but it shows what wearables may be able to do with more powerful AI assistants on board.
Pi is such a bad choice for this, not just because of its size, but also its power efficiency is horrible.
2007 called: it wants its wearable computer back!