Humane’s Ai Pin is the game-changing $1095 wearable device challenging smartphones

Humane has unveiled the Ai Pin, a $1095 (US$699) wearable poised to redefine how humans interact with technology.

This groundbreaking device comprises a square unit and a magnetic battery pack, prioritising portability and seamless integration into everyday life.

Scheduled to ship in early 2024 in the US, with pre orders starting on November 16, the Ai Pin introduces a novel approach to user control: gestures and AI instead of screens.

Weighing about 34 grams (plus, a “battery booster,” adding 20 grams to the device), the Pin operates with a Snapdragon processor, incorporating voice control, gestures, and a built-in projector for its multifaceted user experience that does away with the conventional touchscreen display with become accustomed to on smartphones.

Unique to the Ai Pin is its subscription model, priced at $24 per month, providing users with a dedicated phone number and data coverage for those fortunate enough to acquire the new device.

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The device’s core functionality revolves around Ai Mic, software connecting to AI models from Microsoft and OpenAI, particularly leveraging ChatGPT. Humane’s operating system, Cosmos, seamlessly directs user queries to relevant tools, eliminating the need for cumbersome interfaces.

Unlike traditional wearables, the Ai Pin deviates from constant recording or wake-word listening.

Activation occurs through manual tapping and dragging on the touchpad, accompanied by the Pin’s “Trust Light,” indicating data collection is in progress.

Humane reassures users that their data won’t be used to train AI systems.

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At its core, the Ai Pin aims to simplify user-device interaction, removing the complexities of traditional interfaces.

Straying from conventional settings and apps, the Pin operates on a query-based system, where users can voice or touch commands, and the device autonomously executes tasks.

While initial features include voice-based messaging and calling, summarising email inboxes, nutritional information retrieval via the camera, and real-time translation, Humane envisions expanding capabilities to include navigation and shopping.

A forthcoming software update will enable the built-in camera to capture 13-megapixel photos and record videos.

The company also plans to empower developers to create custom tools for the Ai Pin.

Positioned as the initial step in a broader project, the Ai Pin echoes the evolution of smartphones.

As underlying models improve, the device is expected to undergo transformative enhancements, reflecting the tech industry’s continuous exploration of AI applications.

But despite its innovative design, the Ai Pin has sparked mixed reactions.

Described by Ars Technica as “if Google Glass had a baby with a pager from the 1990s” and labelled by The Verge as unclear in its purpose, the device faces scepticism about its practical applications.

However, a New York Times reviewer found it “equal parts magical and awkward.” So, perhaps there is promise behind the pin.

On social media, reactions were equally mixed. @BlueBuinman underlines the device’s value is in its ability to limit the time you spend on your phone and create “special moments in life with technology.”

“This is the beginning of spatial computing slowly disappearing in the background.”

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Others were less enthusiastic about the Pin and even less so about the announcement video.

“I’m halfway through this video, and still no explanation about what this thing can do or why I need it,” commented @Macro_Justin.

Another suggested using the “make me sound more excited” command for the whole presentation.

A presentation that also included a major gaffe around the 3:45-minute mark.

Identified by Reddit user GrumpyTom, the Ai Pin incorrectly suggests Eastmouth, Australia, and East Timor as the best places to see the next total eclipse.

“The eclipse on that date will not be visible from either of those locations, as it’s going over North America. The eclipse that happened on April 20th, 2023, went over those locations. Seems their “AI” got mixed up.”

And then there were the inevitable comparisons to the 2023 sci-fi flick ‘Her’ starring Joaquin Phoenix, with one commenter suggesting it “looks a bit cleaner than the previous gen”.

With obvious growing pains and customers still trying to figure out what the Ai Pin actually does, the tech industry watches closely to see if this device can truly revolutionise personal tech.

Originally published as Humane’s Ai Pin is the $1095 wearable device challenging smartphones