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Humane teases Ai Pin and I’m cautiously excited

Published Jul 3rd, 2023 6:50AM EDT
Humane Ai Pin wearable teaser.
Image: Humane

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Humane is an artificial intelligence (AI) startup worth almost half a billion, with two former Apple execs at the helm. The company teased its first product a few months ago, choosing an unexpected way to demo some of its capabilities. The clothes-worn wearable showed up during a TED Talk, with Imran Chaudhri showing some of the gadget’s abilities. Two months later, Humane has revealed the device’s name, and you can register your interest in the Ai Pin.

As someone excited about the next stage of computing, I’m cautiously excited about the Ai Pin. Not so much about the strange styling of the “AI” part in the name. But I also have plenty of questions about the Humane wearable that the company isn’t ready to answer.

Humane chose the afternoon of Friday, June 30th, to release additional news about the Humane Ai Pin, including the product’s name. We also get the image teaser above that probably shows off the AI gadget. Or a part of it. As a reminder, we know from the TED Talk that the Ai Pin has a camera through which it sees the world. Also, the Ai Pin comes with a projector that turns any surface into a touch input.

The device is supposed to replace your iPhone. Though, as I said before, I don’t believe we’ve reached a point where we can do any sort of computing without a screen.

Chaudhri and his wife Bethany Bongiorno, also a Humane co-founder and former Apple employee, demoed the gadget’s calling feature in action. Separately, we saw the Chaudhri detail a catch-me-up feature where the AI would sum up information from the notifications you received while you were busy.

But it still feels like you’d have to set up the Ai Pin with your iPhone or Android phone first.

A person using Vision Pro while walking around in a room.
A person using Vision Pro while walking around in a room.

Some might consider the Ai Pin a rival to Apple’s Vision Pro spatial computer. The latter arrived more than a month after Humane’s mid-April TED Talk presentation. But the Ai Pin doesn’t look like it can revolutionize mobile computing. Whereas the Vision Pro sets to stage for a future where smart AR glasses could replace the iPhone.

Regarding Humane’s late June teaser, why the company chose to drop the news that way is unclear. Humane only revealed the Ai Pin name and provided a few superficial details about it.

The Ai Pin is “a new type of standalone device with a software platform that harnesses the power of AI to enable innovative personal computing experiences.”

Moreover, the company said this is a “connected and intelligent clothing-based wearable device that uses a range of sensors that enable contextual and ambient compute interactions.”

Finally, Humane said it’s working with Qualcomm Technologies to make this unique device and form factor. Therefore, an “advanced Snapdragon platform” would power the Ai Pin.

We got no release date, though Humane said it’s coming this year. And there’s no price for it. And Humane did not reveal additional AI features for the Ai Pin.

Humane’s short press announcement does feature a few comments from Qualcomm execs that tease the most exciting feature of the Ai Pin. That’s artificial intelligence, of course:

Dev Singh, Vice President, Business Development of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. commented: “We are proud to be collaborating with Humane and that this first-of-a-kind clothing-based wearable device will be powered by Snapdragon. Humane’s Ai Pin will deliver a superior AI experience and feature an assortment of on-device AI capabilities. Its revolutionary and sleek form factor is packed with powerful performance so that it can make sense of real-time contextual information and provide the wearer with a new and exciting experience. We cannot wait to see where they take this device.”

Ziad Asghar, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. says, “Humane’s Ai Pin will deliver a superior AI experience. With the advent of Generative AI, Humane’s Ai Pin and user experience takes excellent advantage of some of the key strengths of on-device AI and uses real-time contextual information to provide the user with exciting, personalized AI use cases. We share Humane’s vision of bringing AI with you everywhere and delivering on-device AI to everyone. We cannot wait to see where they take this device.”

I said recently that generative AI like ChatGPT and spatial computers like the Vision Pro are the future. They should give you an edge in the future, so it makes sense to get on board as soon as possible. I also think the Vision Pro needs strong AI, like Humane’s seemingly sophisticated platform. That’s why I’m excited to learn more about Humane’s product, even though I’m not necessarily sure I want it in my life.

If the Ai Pin sounds interesting, you can join the waitlist on Humane’s site at this link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.