What is the Humane AI Pin? The no-screen phone with AI and a projector at its core is official. Could this replace your phone?
What comes after the smartphone? Whoever finds the correct answer will likely have a great chance to become the tech company to beat in the next decade – just as the iPhone helped Apple to global dominance.
Many – including Apple itself – are betting on augmented reality smart glasses to provide the next technological golden egg. But one startup believes it could be a wearable device that doesn’t have a display and is attached to clothing like a pin badge.
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- Was $429
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The startup is called Humane and was started by two former Apple employees. The device is called the AI Pin. It has been teased for most of this year, but has now been officially unveiled.
So what is the Humane AI Pin? And what is its pitch for what comes after the smartphones we all carry on our person? Read on.
The no screen phone
Humane is billing the AI Pin as the first device powered by artificial intelligence. Just like your phone it can be controlled by voice commands and by touch controls on the pad covering most of the gadget.
However, there’s no touchscreen display. Instead, information is cast via a built-in projector onto the hand. We saw this previewed earlier this year during a TED Talk and it has been fleshed out today in a full launch video.
A press release says: “AI Pin redefines how we interact with AI. Speak to it naturally, use the intuitive touchpad, hold up objects, use gestures, or interact via the pioneering Laser Ink Display projected onto your palm. The unique, screenless user interface is designed to blend into the background, while bringing the power of AI to you in multi-modal and seamless ways.”
You can use the voice controls to send texts, play music, take photos, make calls, ask questions and catch up on all of your notifications. What’s missing is the need to scroll through a display endlessly and interact with a complex UI to achieve those goals.
Humane is relying on a much more powerful voice assistant than Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant on the like and uses Microsoft and OpenAI’s technology to engage in more intelligent conversations without the constant need to establish and reestablish context.
It’ll be able to summarise your email inbox and respond to commands like “catch me up” for a more holistic view, while there are special AI integrations with the Tidal HiFi music streaming service too.
A whole new form factor
The AI pin magnetically attaches to your clothes and can be rotated into position. There is a built in battery, but there will be the ability to swap them in and out to keep the device running. There are two battery boosters that come with the device. We don’t know how long the battery will last yet, but Humane says hot-swapping the boosters will provide all-day battery life. It’ll also come with a charging case much like AirPods.
In terms of processing, there’s an as-yet-unspecified Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with a dedicated AI engine to do the hard yards. There’s also a built-in speaker (“providing both intimacy and volume as needed”), but we envision most off the audio interactions will be handled via connectivity with Bluetooth earphones.
Not a lot is known about the touch controls yet and, as for the software, it’ll run off a new OS called Cosmos, which won’t require apps to be downloaded or launched.
“Ai Pin … removes the need to download, manage, or launch apps. Instead, it quickly understands what you need, connecting you to the right AI experience or service instantly.”
There is a camera too, which includes an ultra-wide RGB camera, depth sensor and motion sensors. It’s unlikely the camera sensors will come close to replicating the smartphone experience though, with no display or viewfinder available to line-up shots.
Instead, the camera will be relied on for object recognition.
How much does it cost?
Humane is planning to sell the AI Pin for $699 upfront, but it is also looking for $24 a month to subscribe to a data plan running on the T-Mobile network in the United States. That’ll also include access to cloud storage too. The device itself will come in three colours – Eclipse, Equinox, and Lunar.
The Humane AI Pin will be available to order from hu.ma.ne on November 16, with shipping in 2024. It’s not clear whether there are plans to launch in the UK or beyond the US.
Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, Co-Founders, Humane said: “Ai Pin is the embodiment of our vision to integrate AI into the fabric of daily life, enhancing our capabilities without overshadowing our humanity. We are proud to finally unveil what we and the team at Humane have been working on for the past four years. For us, Ai Pin is just the beginning.”