Humane Introduced Its Wearable Device ‘Ai Pin’ After $240M In Funding and Much Hype

IBL News | New York

The San Francisco-based startup Humane, founded by two former Apple employees, showcased its bold sci-fi venture yesterday—a device named Ai Pin.

The unveiling followed five years of development, $240 million in funding, the acquisition of 25 patents, significant hype, and partnerships with top tech companies, including OpenAI, Microsoft, and Salesforce.

Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, Humane’s husband-and-wife founders [in the picture below], envision a future with reduced dependence on screens, a departure from the ubiquity created by their former employer, Apple.

They promote the pin as the first artificially intelligent device. Control options include speaking aloud, tapping a touchpad, or projecting a laser display onto the palm of a hand.

In an instant, the device’s virtual assistant can send a text message, play a song, snap a photo, make a call, or translate a real-time conversation into another language. The system relies on AI to help answer questions and can summarize incoming messages.

Essentially, the device can follow a conversation from one question to the next without needing explicit context.

The technology is a step forward from Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, wrote The New York Times. “To tech insiders, it’s a moonshot. To outsiders, it’s a sci-fi fantasy.” “It’s a gadget that’s reminiscent of the badges worn in Star Trek.”

Humane plans to commence shipping the pins next year, expecting to sell approximately 100,000 units at a cost of $699 each, requiring a $24 monthly subscription in the first year. The pin comes with a new operating system called Cosmos and its own wireless plan. Users will need new phone numbers for the device.

“Users will need to dictate rather than type texts and trade a camera that zooms for wide-angle photos. They’ll need to be patient because certain features, like object recognition and videos, won’t be available initially. And the pin can sometimes be buggy, as it was during some of the company’s demos for The New York Times.”

“The tech industry has a large graveyard of wearable products that have failed to catch on.”

Sam Altman, OpenAI’s chief executive, has invested in Humane, as well as another AI company, Rewind AI, which plans to create a necklace that records what people say and hear. He has also discussed teaming up with Jony Ive, Apple’s former chief designer, to create an AI gadget with ambitions similar to Humane’s.