Former Apple designers Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno have unveiled their latest creation through their startup, Humane AI. The product, named the “AI Pin,” is a wearable device priced at $699, designed to replace smartphones and usher in a new era of human-computer interaction.
The announcement comes after Humane AI secured over $200 million in funding from investors, including Microsoft, Tiger Global, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
The AI Pin allows users to make calls, send texts, and access information through voice controls. There are no wake words, ensuring user privacy by not constantly listening or recording.
A laser display turns the user’s palm into a mini-screen, capable of showing the time, date, or nearby information. The engagement with the device can be through voice, touch, gestures, or the laser ink display.
Unlike smartwatches, the AI Pin operates with its own phone number, eliminating the need for tethering to a smartphone.
In addition to the upfront cost of the device, users will need to subscribe to a $24-per-month data plan with T-Mobile.
The device integrates AI services from tech players like Microsoft, Google, and OpenAI, allowing users to access a range of services without the need for downloaded apps.
The AI Pin is powered by a Qualcomm chipset, the collaboration with Qualcomm Ventures, one of the investors in Humane AI.
The device has a built-in speaker and camera, with indicators to alert users when these functions are active.
The AI Pin also incorporates a laser projection system that displays text and monochromatic images on the user’s hand.
Users can interact with the pin through voice commands for messaging and making calls.
The virtual assistant can summarize the user’s email inbox, providing an efficient way to stay updated.
The built-in camera can analyze food items, providing users with nutritional information, aligning with health-conscious goals.
The device supports real-time translation of spoken conversations between languages.
Users can access AI services from the internet, offering a seamless and integrated experience.
Co-founder Imran Chaudhri envisions a future where AI integrates into daily life, enhancing capabilities without overshadowing human essence. The company sees the AI Pin as the starting point for a larger project, evolving as AI models advance.
While the AI Pin represents a bold leap in human-computer interaction, it faces challenges, including its high upfront cost and the need for a monthly subscription. Critics question its practical applications and how it fits into users’ daily lives.
Reporters who had a hands-on experience with the AI Pin described it as a matchbook-sized device with a Snapdragon processor, touch panel, and a unique laser projection system.
The device weighs 34g, with an additional “battery booster” accessory for extended usage. The AI Pin’s ability to project text and images onto the user’s hand adds a futuristic touch to the wearable.
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The collaboration with OpenAI, especially leveraging ChatGPT, highlights the main role of large language models (LLMs) in the AI Pin’s functionality.
The device’s operating system, named Cosmos, routes queries to the appropriate tools automatically, eliminating the need for users to manage multiple apps.
Humane acknowledges that the AI Pin is just the beginning of their journey. The device’s capabilities are expected to expand as AI models improve, mirroring the evolution of smartphones.
However, the company faces the challenge of defining the AI Pin’s practical use cases beyond its current functionalities.
Humane’s approach to interaction involves stripping away unnecessary interface complexities, creating a device that responds to natural voice commands, gestures, and touch. The absence of a traditional screen addresses the reliance on AI for user engagement.
Co-founder Bethany Bongiorno addressed the importance of the AI Pin embodying their vision to integrate AI into daily life without overshadowing humanity.
The device’s ability to craft messages in the user’s own tone adds a personalized touch to virtual interactions.
Humane aims to be a platform for various AI experiences and services. The company’s business model is structured to accommodate different revenue streams, allowing access to a range of AI capabilities from different providers.
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