Based Hardware Launches Friend, the Only Open Source AI Necklace that Remembers and Transcribes Your Conversations; Consumer Version Available for $69

Based Hardware Launches Friend, the Only Open Source AI Necklace that Remembers and Transcribes Your Conversations; Consumer Version Available for $69

Accesswire

Published

*Always-on AI Device Provides Summaries and Recordings of Conversations, Voice Memos, Notes and More*

*Since Original Kickstarter Campaign Last Month, 1000 Developers Already have the Device*

*SAN FRANCISCO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 24, 2024 / *Launching out of beta, Friend from Based Hardware, is the only fully open source AI necklace, which pairs with a mobile app, to help people remember conversations from their day-to-day lives. Developed for networking as well as available for other more specialized use cases, Friend provides a transcription and synopsis for review and a checklist for how you intend to follow up, with proactive notifications.

Friend is completely open-source, with 1000 developers already having the product in hand. These developers can create their own plug-ins as well as improve the Friend mobile app.

Being introduced today is a new consumer version of the product, which features a more jewelry-like look as well as some additional features: a speaker, onboard memory, and a vibration motor for immediate notifications. The device also contains a microphone and bluetooth connection. An LED light on the front stays illuminated as a signal that it is recording.

The developer device is available for immediate delivery at a cost of $49. The new consumer version costs $69 - much lower than existing AI wearables. The consumer version will be delivered in three months. The mobile app is free. To buy either version, visit basedhardware.com.

"Our goal was to build a completely hands-free device, so you can look people in the eye and have real conversations without having to type notes on your phone," said Based Hardware CEO and Founder Nik Shevchenko.

The general consumer use case is as an assistant at networking and professional events - recording meetings and casual chats and helping the user to recall specifics about the conversations. For example, highlighting who you talked to at a conference, their names and subject matter discussed. The AI creates transcripts, conversation summaries, and action item lists, which are stored on your phone.

For user privacy, the Friend device does not retain any recorded conversations. These conversations are transcribed by AI speech-to-text software and transcripts are saved locally on your phone.

*Consumer Version, Friend Device Features (iOS and Android)*

· Open-Source: Customize and enhance your experience
· Long Battery Life: 6-day battery life
· Live Transcription: Capture live voice and audio with human-level accuracy
· Conversation Memory: Remembers conversations, providing you with reliable records.
· Efficient Summarization: Get instant insights and summaries powered by ChatGPT in just 5 seconds
· Connectivity: Bluetooth-enabled with WiFi, LED, accelerometer, and USB-C charging
· App Marketplace: Expand functionality with our app marketplace.
· Conversation Coach: Friend helps you communicate better, gives you tips and advice during conversations
· Microphone
· Speaker (new for consumer version)
· Onboard memory (new for consumer version)
· Vibration motor (new for consumer version)

Both the developer and consumer versions operate with WhisperX. A user can specify the AI software they would like the Friend app to use to generate the transcripts and summaries.

Additional use cases that may be developed include a sales meeting monitor and training tool, specific medically-oriented conversation recorder and as a memory aide for people with dementia or memory impairment.

*History of Friend*

Friend began with an oversubscribed Kickstarter, achieving 10 times its initial financial goal. The open source community around the product is the largest to date for any wearable.

CEO and Founder Nik Shevchenko is recipient of the Thiel Fellowship, which awards $100,000 a year for two years to 20 to 25 young innovators who want to build things. Less than 1% of applicants are accepted. Friend's advisor Monisha Perkash helped to build Meta's Ray-Ban smart glasses.

"When we show the Friend device, at least 20% of people ask us immediately how to buy it," said Shevchenko. "So far, 1,500 units have been sold, with 1000 already delivered to developers and influencers."

"A necklace is just the first step. Future directions include the addition of video, a brain-computer interface, and new formats such as smart glasses, earbuds, and other wearables that people find the most comfortable and unobtrusive," Shevchenko added.

To buy the developer device for immediate delivery or pre-order the consumer version, visit basedhardware.com.

*About Based Hardware*

Founded by Thiel Fellow Nik Shevchenko, Based Hardware's first product is Friend, an entirely open-source AI wearable device. Starting in necklace form, the always-on product works with a phone app to provide transcriptions, summaries of conversations, checklists and notifications so people can engage freely in conversation and remember what they learned. Launched with an oversubscribed Kickstarter in May 2024, the product has already shipped to 1000 developers. A consumer version with a more attractive design will be shipped by September 2024. For more information, visit basedhardware.com.

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*Media Contact*:

Erica Zeidenberg
Hot Tomato Marketing
erica@hottomato.net
925-518-8159

*SOURCE:* Based Hardware
View the original press release on accesswire.com
View the original press release on accesswire.com

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