Six months after it was first shown off, Humane has announced that its unique Ai Pin device is about to go on sale.
San Francisco-based Humane describes the Ai Pin as “the first wearable device and software platform built to harness the full power of artificial intelligence (AI).”
At first glance, it looks a bit like an Apple Watch, but instead of wrapping around your wrist, it sits on your chest. Oh, and it doesn’t have a screen as such, instead projecting a “laser ink display” onto the palm of your hand.
Aiming to give the smartphone — and smartwatches — a run for their money, the Ai Pin offers a range of “AI experiences” that are on the device and in the cloud — there are no apps as such.
Like a handset, you can deal with calls, check and send messages, request songs, take photos and video, ask questions, and more, with interactions taking place via touch, talk, gesture, and that projected display, with AI apparently making some of these tasks much smoother and simpler.
Humane was founded by former Apple design and engineering team members Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno in 2019, and in the video below the pair offer a detailed run-through of the Ai Pin’s capabilities.
As the video shows, the device can also be used for instant language interpretation, and can even tell you how much, say, protein is in a handful of nuts that you show it.
The device connects to your shirt or other top by way of a magnetized “battery booster” that you place on the other side of your garment. You should be able to get about a day’s use out of the Ai Pin, but the ease with which you can swap the battery means you’ll never have to worry about running out of juice (just carry enough batteries with you!).
So, what are the downsides of the Ai Pin? Well, while the demonstration video is very impressive, there is a bit of a slip-up where the AI gives an erroneous answer to a question about the best place to see the next solar eclipse. This kind of confident yet wrong response is known to occur with generative AI chatbots from time to time, and with AI at the core of Humane’s device, it will need to find a way to resolve this kind of issue at the earliest opportunity.
Another question is how willing people will be to wear such an expensive device, connected only by a magnet, on the outside of their clothes.
Still, Humane has to be praised for coming up with something exciting and new. Now we want to see if it lives up to the hype.
The Ai Pin is available for preorder from November 16 and will start shipping in early 2024. It costs $699 plus $24 per month for unlimited calling, texting, and data through T-Mobile.
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