Saturday, December 9, 2023

Humane Debuts $700 AI Pin With ‘Laser Ink Display’


Humane, a tech startup run by former Apple designer Imran Chaudhri, today officially unveiled its first product, the Ai Pin. Priced at $700, the Ai Pin is a standalone device that Humane says was built from the ground up for artificial intelligence.

The Ai Pin attaches to a clothing item using a magnetic system that involves a detachable battery, which is also how the device is powered. The idea is to swap the battery out for a new battery when necessary, resulting in what Humane calls a “perpetual power system.” It is not clear how long each battery lasts.

Design wise, the Ai Pin looks something like an Apple Watch with a rounded rectangular shape, It is made from aluminum, comes in three colors, and has a Gorilla Glass touchpad. There’s also an “optical sensing capsule,” a 3D depth sensor, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip to power it.

A laser projector inside the Ai Pin can project information onto the user’s hand, and it is necessary because there is no standard display on the device itself. Humane calls the laser projector system a “Laser Ink Display.” Interacting with the Laser Ink Display can be done by rolling and tilting the hand, and selecting an item is done with a finger tap similar to the tap used for Apple’s own Double Tap feature on Apple Watch.

Touching the Ai Pin and speaking activates the “Ai Mic” that can answer questions and help users find information, including details they have previously relayed to the device, such as reminders. It plays music through a “Personic Speaker” that creates a bubble of sound around the wearer, plus there is an Interpreter feature. Humane says that the Ai Pin is “fluent in many languages” and can translate spoken words in real-time. There are no apps, with all actions and functions accessed through the AI.

A built-in 13-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera can be used to capture photographs and videos, either using a two-finger double tap or a voice command. Photos can be viewed using the “Center” website on any web browser. Center also houses notes that have been taken, music listened to, reminders, and more.

Users can tell the Ai Pin about their activity and nutrition goals to keep tabs on their progress and better understand the energy they take in and put out. Holding up a food item to the Ai Pin will allow the device to provide nutritional information and can let a user know if it’s “safe” to eat based on their health goals.

The device has cellular connectivity and can be used to answer phone calls from trusted contacts that are designated by the wearer. Humane says the Ai Pin is able to intelligently determine what takes priority if an untrusted contact calls or sends a message, allowing interactions such as a food delivery person arriving with an order. Calls and text messages can be sent using the Ai Pin, with messages composed through voice requests.

The Ai Pin cannot be activated without direct user interaction, so it is not listening or recording by default. When the camera, phone, or microphone are activated, there is a colored “Trust Light” that lets other people around the user know when the Ai Pin is in use.

Orders for the Ai Pin are set to begin in the United States on November 16. Ai Pin is priced at $700, and there is also a $24 monthly subscription required to use the device on the Humane network, which is powered by T-Mobile.
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