Instead of new AI gadgets, I want more smartwatches.

WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now
Instagram Group Join Now

Ever since ChatGPT became a smash hit in late 2022, the tech industry has been racing to integrate the souped-up AI algorithm into all sorts of devices. New AI software tools were at the heart of Samsung's announcement of the Galaxy S24 in January and the launch of Google's Pixel 8 last October. Tech giants including Asus, Intel and AMD are starting to market upcoming computers as “AI PCs.”

But there's one place in particular where large tongue models will feel especially at home: on the wrist. The purpose of a smartwatch, in addition to logging exercise and measuring health metrics, is to prevent us from reaching for our phones too often. But those small screens aren't ideal for long interactions like tapping, typing and long swiping, leaving plenty of room for AI to help.

Dedicated AI gadgets are off to a great start. The highly anticipated Humane AI pin received negative reviews due to its inconsistent performance, tendency to overheat and high price. Not long after, startup Rabbit Inc. released the R1, a handheld voice-first AI assistant that was also criticized by critics for its performance and limited functionality. Both episodes cast doubt on the future of new AI-powered consumer electronics, and raised questions about whether new types of hardware are needed.

That answer may still be up for debate, but in the meantime, there's a lot of potential for AI to level up the wearables we already have. And with Google's I/O developers conference fast approaching, followed by Apple's WWDC event in June, there's a chance we'll hear more about how AI will soon improve smartwatches. can

Read more: Smart rings are picking up where fitness trackers left off.

Smartwatches have come a long way over the past decade, evolving from shrinking phone screens to devices that truly feel like their own entity. But typing, scrolling and watching videos on a screen the size of a smartwatch isn't ideal, and smartwatch makers have slowly realized that these devices need their own gestures, interactions and interfaces.

Generative AI can take this to the next level. What if your smartwatch could intelligently summarize notifications for you so you didn't have to reach for your phone as often? iPhone and iPad can already provide notification summaries at set points during the day. And Apple Watch can display a notification summary when the device is locked that shows a short headline and an app icon. But I'd like to see companies like Apple take it a step further by using AI to synthesize the content of incoming notifications to deliver bite-sized summaries designed specifically for smartwatches.

Or what if you could read a short, sharp summary of a long text message or email on your watch? Google already offers message summarization in Android Auto and can summarize websites in the Chrome browser on phones. Next, I'd like to see this idea applied to smartwatches in ways that make sense.

Generative AI can also help you craft responses to canned messages that are more specific and authentic-sounding, making it much easier to respond to your watch text. Such features could be in Apple's future, considering a report from Apple Insider said the company is working on AI-powered reactions and summarization features. Bloomberg also reported that Apple is working on new AI-based features for its next iPhone update, though it's unclear if or how any of these tools will extend to the Apple Watch.

I hope Google brings more AI features to watches like the Pixel Watch 2 (pictured).

James Martin/CNET

Style is also more important for smartwatches than for phones because these devices are visible on the wrist. Both Google and Samsung offer creative AI wallpapers that can create new phone backgrounds from scratch based on gestures. This sounds like a great idea for watch faces.

I would like my watch to create new watch faces from scratch based on gestures and my preferences. Imagine being able to tell your watch (or the accompanying phone app you use to manage your watch) that you want a colorful, modern-looking watch face that tracks your activity progress. puts it front and center but also tells you the weather. This will mean spending less time with complications and widgets.

Then there are virtual assistants like Siri and Google Assistant. Voice assistants are especially useful on smartwatches because those small screens aren't ideal for long cycles of typing and tapping. I always use Siri to set alarms and timers on my Apple Watch instead of tapping into these apps. Adding more smarts to these digital assistants can make them more useful on the wrist, further reducing the number of times I need to reach for my phone to accomplish a task.

Fitbit Labs will use AI to crunch health data.


Apple and Google are already adding some AI upgrades to their smartwatch platforms, especially when it comes to health tracking. Last year, for example, Apple updated Siri with the ability to answer health-related questions. Apple's latest smartwatch chip makes it possible for the Apple Watch to handle this type of processing on the device rather than in the cloud, which is better for protecting privacy.

Google is launching an experimental program called Fitbit Labs, which uses generative AI to crunch Fitbit data and answer questions. According to Bloomberg, Apple is also said to be developing an AI-powered health coach. Samsung's Won Jun Choi also previously told CNET that the company plans to bring AI features to other types of devices, which could include smartwatches.

But bringing the latest AI features into something as small as a smartwatch is no easy feat. Unless such interactions are handled in the cloud, they will require a large amount of on-device processing — the kind that would be difficult to squeeze into a small device.

Only time will tell how (and if) companies like Apple, Google and Samsung will incorporate generative AI into their smartwatches. But for devices with such small screens, the potential for AI-generated summaries and message replies alone seems overwhelming.

Editors' note: CNET used an AI engine to help generate several dozen stories, labeled accordingly. The note you are reading is linked to articles that are related to the topic of AI but are entirely created by our expert editors and writers. For more, see our AI Policy.

WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now
Instagram Group Join Now

Leave a Comment