Humane, the startup launched by ex-Apple design and engineering duo Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, today revealed details about its first product: The Humane Ai Pin.
It’s been a long time coming. Humane has kept its work more or less under wraps since 2018, its founding year, unveiling no products but bringing on dozens of ex-Apple employees responsible for the iPhone’s touchscreen keyboard, elements of Apple’s industrial design and infrastructure for Apple services like iCloud, Apple Pay and Home.
Humane’s product, as it turns out, is a wearable gadget with a projected display and AI-powered features. Chaudhri gave a live demo of the device onstage during a TED Talk in April, but a press release issued today provides a few additional details.
“The [AI Pin is a] connected and intelligent clothing-based wearable device uses a range of sensors that enable contextual and ambient compute interactions,” the release reads. “The Ai Pin is a type of standalone device with a software platform that harnesses the power of Ai to enable innovative personal computing experiences.”
Stripping away the marketing jargon, the Ai Pin will be able to — assuming Humane’s claims hold water — perform many of the tasks a smartphone can, but with fewer gestures and voice commands required. Activated with a tap, the Ai Pin, designed to clip to a breast pocket, can offer a summary of emails and calendar invites, translate between languages and answer and place phone calls.
Thanks to a camera and computer vision-powered software, the Ai Pin can also recognize objects around it, such as food nutrition labels. And using a built-in projector and depth sensor, it can project an interactive interface onto nearby surfaces, like the palm of a hand or the surface of a table.
“Our Ai Pin presents an opportunity for people to take AI with them everywhere and to unlock a new era of personal mobile computing which is seamless, screenless, and sensing,” Chaudhri and Bongiorno said in a canned statement.
Humane also revealed today that it’s collaborating with Qualcomm to develop the Ai Pin’s internal hardware. An unnamed chip from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon series will power the wearable; Human’s promising more info to come later in the year ahead of the device’s launch.
“Humane’s Ai Pin will deliver a superior AI experience,” Qualcomm SVP of product management Ziad Asghar was quoted as saying in the release: “With the advent of generative AI, Humane’s Ai Pin and user experience takes excellent advantage of some of the key strengths of on-device AI and uses real-time contextual information to provide the user with exciting, personalized AI use cases.”
Humane previously announced that it’s partnering with SK Networks and Microsoft to bring its platform and services to market, with Microsoft supplying the cloud processing power and SK Networks handling distribution. Meanwhile, Humane’s collaborating with OpenAI to integrate its tech into the startup’s device — whatever form it ends up taking, exactly. LG, for its part, is working with Humane on R&D projects for the next phase of its product life cycle as well as adapting Humane’s tech for smart home devices. And Volvo’s teaming up with Humane on a potential automotive industry offering.
To date, San Francisco-based Humane, which has a more than 200-person workforce, has raised $230 million from investors including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Kindred Ventures, SK Networks, LG Technology Ventures, Microsoft, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Tiger Global, Qualcomm Ventures and OpenAI CEO and co-founder Sam Altman.