Nicolas Baldeck had a vision: to create the first artificially intelligent, wireless, brainwave-enabled smart potato. We got the lowdown at CES 2020.
"So, you plug this into any potato," says Baldeck. "It's self-powered by the potato; it picks up the potato brainwaves. And then, by using artificial intelligence, it turns potato language into Bluetooth. So, potato can talk to your smartphone – 'I'm super happy to be at CES' – but more than that, it turns the potato into a personal assistant. Just think about Alexa, but with feelings! It's not a computer. So, you ask any question: 'hey potato, should I buy the new iPhone?' Nobody even knows this answer, except the potato. And it says, 'definitely maybe.' So, this is for real – we sell this on Indiegogo for $29. Also, we've got these T-shirts..." Clearly, Baldeck had been expecting to make a stir with this marvel of inter-species communication, and he has indeed gained some backers on the just-launched Indiegogo campaign.
Like a traditional lemon (or potato) battery, the "Neuraspud" spike features two electrodes made of different metals: the cathode with a zinc coating, and the anode with a layer of gold – possibly ENIG-coated copper. The two are connected through the potato, which serves as an electrolyte.
The power is stepped up to drive a SiLabs Bluetooth chip, which transmits the potato's "brainwaves" to a TensorFlow model. "We pick up the electrical activity inside the potato, and then we put this into a TensorFlow neural network – for real! – and it's advertised over Bluetooth to your phone."
Baldeck has the potato powering a "smart assistant", which acts as a sort of Magic 8 Ball for yes/no questions.
Rewards on Indiegogo include the Neuraspud spike (at $29 early bird pricing), as well as tees and stickers, although the potato is not included. Check out the stretch goals for a giggle!