Humane Ai Pin is a square, a small device with a magnetic clothes clip. It costs $699. (less than PLN 3,000), and you also have to pay a monthly subscription of $24. (approx. PLN 100) for access, among others to artificial intelligence.
As part of the subscription, we also receive a telephone number that uses the T-Mobile network, as well as space on a cloud drive for storing files. As for the artificial intelligence queries themselves, their number is unlimited. The AI used comes from OpenAI (ChatGPT).
Gadget or the future of the mobile sector?
Over recent months, the company has gradually revealed information about AI Pin, offering only a brief look at the device that was launched in October this year. worn by Naomi Campbell during Paris Fashion Week.
Ai Pin is a pocket money, a portable AI assistant that can supposedly do the tasks our phones and voice assistants currently do, but without a screen. It primarily uses voice commands, and sometimes relies on a virtual screen that is displayed on the user’s hand.
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The device works independently of other equipment and is connected to its own telephone network via T-Mobile. As part of the above-mentioned subscription, we receive unlimited text messages, calls and data transfer. The equipment will hit the market in early 2024, although we do not know the exact date yet.
The device itself will be available in three colors: Eclipse, Equinox and Lunar. The magnetic clip that attaches the device to clothing doubles as battery storage and holds a pair of spare batteries for users to carry around. The AI Pin also has an ultra-wide-angle RGB camera, as well as depth and motion sensors, which the company says allow “the device to see the world the way you see it.”
Ai Pin will run on the Snapdragon processor, using a special Qualcomm AI engine. It also uses, according to the company, a completely new version of software designed to support AI called Ai Bus.
The software used by Humane reportedly eliminates the need to actually download content to the device itself. Instead, it “quickly understands what you need, connecting you instantly with the right AI experience or service.” The equipment works with both Microsoft and OpenAI solutions. This is intended to provide access to some of the most powerful AI models and platforms in the world.
However, there is a lot we don’t know about Ai Pin. One of the biggest secrets is, for example, battery life. There are additional batteries in the housing, which suggests that the operating time may be short and replacement of batteries with other ones will take place quite often. The company states that the device runs all day on batteries, but we do not know exactly how many batteries and for what purpose. Humane also hasn’t conducted many live demonstrations of the device, and it’s unclear how it handles possible hacker attempts to take control. Can they be hijacked and compromised somehow? No information on this subject yet.
Among the investors, the head of OpenAI
Bethany Bongiorno, CEO of Humane, is confident that Ai Pin will gain a lot of users as “the world’s first context-sensitive computer”. Bongiorno and her husband Imran Chaudhri founded Humane in 2018 after many years working in hardware design and software engineering at Apple. They had their own assumptions: it had to be equipment directly connected to the cellular network, not always listening for activation commands such as “Hey Siri” or “OK Google”, as smart speakers and some smartphones do, and also small in size. The founders also wanted the device to be affordable. The latter probably didn’t work out.
The Humane chief sees previous wearables such as smart glasses and AR headsets as “barriers to human connectivity.” The Ai Pin is intended to be less invasive, though just as capable, and will be something people can comfortably wear all daywithout spoiling your hairstyle. “We want to have powerful AI computing with us at all times, and that’s exactly what it’s all about,” says Chaudhri, the company’s president and chairman. — We want to have access to more knowledge and information. We want it, but in a way that allows us to stay present and is not too distracting, he adds.
The start-up obtained $230 million in financing, including $100 million in March this year., which reportedly raised its valuation to $850 million. Humane’s investors include OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who has the largest outside stake at almost 15%, as well as Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Microsoft and venture funds from LG, Volvo and Qualcomm.
After ordering Ai Pin, buyers are asked to log in to the humane.center website to sync their contacts and sign up for additional services such as music. They use the Pin’s camera to scan the code sent with the device to link it to this online account where recordings, photos and call and message histories are available. User data will not be used to train AI systems, Humane assures.
So far, no surprises
Ai Pin is controlled by taps, hand gestures and voice commands. A two-finger double-tap on the touchpad on the front of the device takes photos. The same double tap and then hold down that spot records the video, but The video function will only be launched after a software update in early 2024.
Touching the Ai Pin and then bringing your hand into its field of view activates a laser that projects images and text onto the user’s hand at a wavelength that creates a blue-green tint. The image resolution is 720p (standard HD), and the company calls its solution a “Laser Ink display”. Users “click” on individual options by tapping their thumb and forefinger together, and a brief close of the hand returns them to the home screen. The company explains that projection control is limited to one hand to maintain speed and make it easier to control the device while moving.
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The voice assistant, which Humane calls Ai Mic, uses multiple language models, including ChatGPT. Users tap and hold Pin to chat with Ai Mic and can ask questions similar to those supported by generative AI chat bots or voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri.
Ai Pin runs on the open Android operating system from Google, so developers will be able to prepare applications for the device with relative ease. However, will Ai Pin gain enough customers to make it profitable for developers to create applications for new hardware? Time will tell, although for now – after the first Humane presentations – customers more often look at the unusual “pin” with reserve rather than fascination.
Author: Grzegorz Kubera, journalist of Business Insider Polska