Skip to main content

The Humane AI Pin is in trouble

A person wearing the Humane AI Pin.

It’s been barely a few months since the Humane AI Pin launched to consumers, but Humane may already be in trouble. According to a report from Bloomberg, Humane — which first announced the AI Pin in November and officially released it in April to mixed to mostly negative reviews — may already be seeking a buyer.

The company is reportedly seeking between $750 million to $1 billion from its prospective buyer, according to an anonymous source Bloomberg spoke with. That would be in line with the $850 million valuation reported by The Information, though Humane itself has never revealed an official valuation for any of its funding rounds.

For those who’ve missed the hype, the Humane AI Pin was pitched as an “ambient” computer packing generative AI into a wearable pocket protector form factor. It also has a laser projector display and an array of sensors. While it was created as a wearable, in the long term, Humane envisioned (and possibly still envisions) the AI Pin replacing your smartphone. Unfortunately for Humane, it doesn’t seem to have succeeded in that goal.

The AI Pin itself costs $700, but the required subscription will cost you $24 a month to use the AI services with an unlimited number of queries. It also includes a phone number and unlimited data, making it about as costly as a phone when accounting for the subscription plan.

A person using the Humane AI Pin.

The problem was that it wasn’t a full-fledged smartphone replacement, as many reviews made clear, including a notorious one from MKBHD titled “The Worst Product I’ve Ever Reviewed…For Now,” which spawned a lot of commentary on X that his review would kill the company. That was in addition to other issues the AI Pin suffered from, including its slow response time to queries, its main interactions being voice commands and the janky laser display, and its reliance on having a network connection. It also experienced poor battery life and overheating problems.

More recently, Humane has also faced competition from the Rabbit R1, which comes in a more familiar and eye-catching form factor as a pocket AI assistant, includes a regular screen, and has a reasonable $199 price. There are also the wearable Meta Ray-Bans, which can respond to voice commands, snap pictures, play music, take phone calls, and more.

With sales of the AI Pin almost certainly not meeting expectations, it’s not surprising to see Humane put itself on the market. The company’s chief technology officer, Patrick Gates, who joined in 2019, left the company in January before the AI Pin launch, and about 4% of the workforce was laid off.  AI has the potential to be a great addition to smart devices, but not all smart devices are created equal, as Humane may have just proven.

Editors' Recommendations

Ajay Kumar
Freelance Writer, Mobile
Ajay has worked in tech journalism for more than a decade as a reporter, analyst, and editor.
Your Samsung Galaxy Watch is getting new AI health features
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic, in black and silver.

Samsung has already put AI into your Galaxy smartphone, and its next move is to put it inside your Galaxy smartwatch too. The company will introduce Galaxy AI features to the Galaxy Watch range with the One UI 6 Watch update coming in the near future. The benefits all center around health and fitness.

Galaxy AI on wearables will also be part of the Samsung Health app, which is used to keep track of your health, fitness, sleep, and daily activity. What features will it include? At this stage, the company has detailed six key advancements using Galaxy AI in Samsung Health and One UI 6 Watch.

Read more
Apple’s AI plans for the iPhone just leaked. Here’s everything we know
The back of a Natural Titanium iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Apple is the only major name in the world of Big Tech that hasn’t made its ambitious AI plans public yet. But that will change in a few weeks, with a focus on reimagining the iPhone experience. Bloomberg, citing internal sources, has detailed how Apple plans to integrate generative AI experiences with iOS 18, the next major build of its iPhone operating system.

The company plans to push new AI-powered capabilities not just in such in-house apps as Safari and Maps, but also in experiences like the notification system and a supercharged Spotlight search. Notably, Apple will push the bulk of AI processing to the iPhone’s silicon, and only a minor portion of it will be pushed to the cloud.

Read more
AI gadgets are dead
Gemini, ChatGPT, Humane Pin, and Rabbit R1.

Ahead of Google I/O 2024, there was little doubt that Google would talk about AI. The event started on a fittingly rowdy note. YouTube sensation Marc Rebillet started the show adorned in a bathrobe after popping up from a giant cup.

The social media star set the tone for the rest of the event by asking audience members for wild musical ideas that came to life via Google’s AI DJ software. The host couldn’t have asked for a better start. In the words of CEO Sundar Pichai, Google executives uttered the word “AI” 121 times.

Read more