AI Hardware: Next Boom or Bust?

I have to start and give credit to perhaps the best consumer electronics reviewer IMO for this post, Dave2D. Dave’s concise reviews are the best of the best, and he’s got this spot on, even with the clickbait-y YouTube thumb.

It’s true, there’s no way ‘AI hardware’ is ready for prime time. Dave elaborates on this in his video, from the latency to features and the sheer ability to do what these startups are saying it can do.

That begs the question, is this even a new category of devices at all? You would imagine, and it’s already begun with Samsung etc, that the big manufacturers are already integrating AI models and services like ChatGPT into the products.

Then there’s another question, how much do we as consumers want it? Our phones, earphones, laptops hell even domestic appliances pretty much do what we need them to do with a few taps. Adding voice or other prompting that uses AI perhaps get’s it done faster, but does it move the needle?

Perhaps Apple’s Vision Pro and Meta Quest is the right track i.e abstract hardware away so that the experience is literally ‘spatial’ as the former puts it or ambient as others say. In other words, computing is everywhere and doesn’t need consideration.

I do think there’s a opportunity here to integrate the AI software together with hardware to offer a superior experience. Who or what that looks like I don’t know. It still feels like the real winners in this category are the infra/compute guys from Nvidia to Amazon AWS.

And as we know, hardware is hard. Good luck trying to make money from consumers who don’t even want to upgrade their 4 year old smartphone.

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