Meta Reportedly Working on AI-Enabled Camera-Integrated Earphones Dubbed Camerabuds

Meta is reportedly working on a unique wearable form factor powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Dubbed Camerabuds, the device will be a pair of earphones with cameras attached at both ends. The cameras are said to pick up information from their surroundings and answer the queries of the user. The report claims that the project is currently in its initial stage and the company has not even finalised the design of the device. Further, the engineering team has also expressed several concerns with such a wearable.

According to a report by The Information (via Engadget), Meta is exploring a new wearable device that can identify objects and translate languages using AI. The device will essentially be a pair of earphones or headphones but they will have a couple of cameras equipped to each of the earbuds facing outwards. These cameras will pick up the information that the AI will process in real time to answer the wearer’s questions.

The device will use multimodal AI with real-time processing, similar to the company’s Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses (our review). Based on the information shared, it appears that the Camerabuds will be a more portable device with the main focus being two-way communication. It is not clear if verbal communication will be lag-free or the same as its AI-powered smart glasses.

While this is the plan, the report mentions that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is not happy with any of the designs so far, despite seeing several iterations of them. Further, it is said that the engineering team has also expressed several concerns with such a device. Some of the concerns include battery life, heat dissipation, privacy-related issues, challenges around users who have long hair, and more.

The report also pointed out that Meta has a track record of planning big hardware projects and abruptly shutting them down. For instance, it killed its smart speaker project called Portal in 2022. Earlier, it also cancelled its camera-fitted smartwatch project. However, Meta has witnessed significant success with its smart glasses and likely wants to double down on it with another similar product. Notably, the company is also heavily investing in AI.

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