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Future or Failure?

A Look Into Humane’s New Wearable “AI Pin”

On November 16th, Humane, a startup founded by ex-Apple employees, launched a unique, wearable smartphone called the “AI Pin”.  This screenless device simply clips onto an item of clothing and assumes the role of a smartphone with its camera, speaker, and projector.  Currently, the AI Pin, with a charging case and pad, a cable, an adapter, and two battery boosters, is offered at $699, with an additional $24 monthly subscription fee for unlimited data through T-Mobile.

Adding to the convenience of this wearable smartphone, the AI Pin’s operating system, called Cosmos, employs artificial intelligence to resolve queries, thereby removing the need to download apps as required by traditional smartphones.  Moreover, unlike smartphones that often run out of battery and require outlets, the AI Pin is powered by an internal battery that can be extended by “battery boosters” attachable to the back of the product, which ensures a perpetual source of power throughout the day.

This AI Pin is a breakthrough in the manner through which humans interact with technology, as it shifts from handheld smartphones to a wearable device that collects input from a person’s voice, hand gestures, and surroundings.  Primarily, the device is designed to be managed through voice control, in which a person can verbally request information from the device.  Yet, the AI Pin provides privacy to the users, as it is not always listening to one’s interactions and must first be activated by touching and holding the device until a “trust light” shines. 

In addition to speech recognition, the AI Pin provides a green laser projector that can cast the device “screen” onto one’s hand at 720p resolution.  Although the display is not large, only around the size of a smartwatch, one can navigate the device through hand gestures, such as tilting one’s hand in different directions.  Moreover, the AI Pin has an RGB camera, as well as depth and motion sensors, that allow the device to contextualize a person’s environment. 

Aside from capturing pictures and videos, the device can also perform a variety of innovative tasks.  For example, the AI Pin can determine the nutritional value of the food that one holds up to the camera or the online price of the product that one possesses.  The device can also facilitate interaction between people who speak different languages, as it offers a live translation feature that operates in response to the verbal input it gathers.

In addition to these operations, the AI Pin makes ordinary processes like texting and calling more efficient.  For example, through the “Catch Me Up” function, the AI Pin will summarize all of the notifications that one has received upon verbal request.  In addition to this process, the device can use artificial intelligence to search through messages for information that one needs, rather than having to manually scroll through texts or emails.

In order to access the images, videos, and other information that the device collects, one can head to, the platform that connects to the AI Pin and stores all of its data.

Ultimately, Humane focuses on a world after smartphones and hopes to continue evolving this AI Pin, just as smartphone companies have done to their devices in the recent past.  Will this invention become the future of the smartphone industry, or will it simply become another obsolete device of the past?

For more information, watch this video created by the founders of Humane here.

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