In an exciting development, rumors surrounding the collaboration between OpenAI’s Sam Altman and legendary iPhone designer Jony Ive are gaining momentum, signaling progress in the creation of OpenAI’s first hardware device. The project, shrouded in secrecy, has now enlisted the expertise of Tang Tan, former lead designer for Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch, to helm the hardware engineering for this groundbreaking AI device.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Tang Tan is set to join LoveFrom, the design firm founded by Jony Ive after his departure from Apple in 2019. LoveFrom has become a hub for top-notch Apple talent, with Tan joining a team that already includes Apple executive Shota Aoyagi. This move marks the latest chapter in the much-speculated collaboration between Altman and Ive, with initial concept ideas hinting at a range of devices designed for home use.
While details about the project remain scarce, insiders suggest that OpenAI will provide the software, creating a powerful synergy between hardware and cutting-edge AI capabilities. The Information had previously reported discussions between Altman and Ive regarding an unspecified AI device, with Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son also reportedly involved in the deliberations.
Despite the intrigue, Altman has made it clear that any AI hardware product from OpenAI will not seek to replace the ubiquitous smartphone. During The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live event, Altman expressed “no interest” in competing with devices as popular as the iPhone. Nevertheless, the involvement of Apple veterans Tang Tan and Jony Ive has sparked speculation that the forthcoming AI device could potentially challenge the iPhone’s dominance in the consumer tech industry.
Sam Altman has already demonstrated his interest in AI hardware by backing Humane, a startup that recently introduced an “AI pin.” This screenless wearable, powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 AI model, aims to limit screen time and replace smartphones. However, it faces challenges, with reports of clunkiness and inaccurate responses in demos, and Altman’s venture with Ive catching the startup off guard.
As the collaboration between Altman, Ive, and Tan gains momentum, the tech world eagerly awaits more details about OpenAI’s foray into hardware and the potential impact on the consumer tech landscape. Stay tuned for further updates on this exciting venture that could reshape the way we interact with AI in our daily lives.