Humane: AI computing with a human connection

With the release of the ground-breaking and much debated AI Pin, AI Magazine takes a look into the innovative company created by former Apple employees

San Francisco-based startup Humane has debuted its Ai Pin, a wearable device that acts as a mobile AI assistant. 

The pin has caused quite a stir in the technology community as orders commenced yesterday (16th November 2023), with the company believing in building innovative technology that feels familiar, natural and human.

Worn like a lapel pin, the device allows users to interact with it through voice commands and gestures. Whilst it doesn't have a screen, it can project text and images via a laser onto the user's palm, thereby blending digital technology with human touch.

A ‘new’ AI? Reshaping the role of technology in our lives

The dramatic growth of AI has ultimately led to businesses and world leaders to cooperate in discussions concerning the advancement of new AI models. In a world where AI offerings and metaverse technologies are expanding and offering users more ways to digitally interact with both people and machines, it is exciting to imagine what offerings will be available moving into 2024.

One of those offerings that is now available for pre-order is Humane’s AI Pin, which projects a laser image onto the user’s palm to offer a more personal and tactile experience with AI technology. With users being able to control the product with their hand, the pin is offering an innovative and groundbreaking way for humanity to directly react and interact with technology.

The Humane team has built the pin from the ground up with AI that consists of a computer and a battery booster which allows it to have all-day battery life. Another impressive feature of this innovation is that it is not always listening or recording the user, with the company stating that it will only listen to the user when they directly engage with it.

This could be reassuring for potential users of the technology and ease anxieties over how much control AI systems actually have over humanity. Such transparency over the features of a product such as this could also hold great potential for future developments, as AI requires building trust through transparent use cases between business and consumer.

Other use cases of the AI Pin include asking it questions, much like one could with a chatbot, with the pin taking answers from across the Internet and summarising it for the user’s convenience. It has also been advertised as translating speech so that users can have a conversation with someone in real time without having to worry about a language barrier.

This type of forward-thinking approach ultimately seeks to help users get more in touch with their humanity. Particularly with features like already-established wearable technology devices, Humane’s AI Pin can monitor health on the go - but without the need to interact with a screen.

The AI Pin is being sold at US$699.

The people behind the innovation

Humane was co-founded by two individuals who used to work at Apple

Inventor and innovator Imran Chaudhri spent more than 20 years working with the tech giant imagining and creating some of the world’s most beloved consumer products, like the Macintosh, iPod, iPad, Apple Watch and iPhone. He is best known for his work on inventing the groundbreaking user interface and interactions on the iPhone and is named as an inventor on thousands of patents. 

Likewise, Bethany Bongiorno led the teams behind some of Apple's most transformational products. As a Director of Software Engineering, she was responsible for all software project management for iOS and macOS and also played a key leadership role in the execution of critical projects such as the launch of the original iPad. 

Both pride themselves on envisioning and developing a future that is even more intelligent and even more personal. Through their work at Humane, their mission is to build not for the world as it exists today, but as it could be tomorrow. With AI at the heart of its ideas, their company seeks to rethink, reconsider and remember honest human connection in conjunction with computing.

Chaudhri says that the product is designed to take “the full power of AI everywhere and have it weave seamlessly into our everyday lives. 

“For us, the AI Pin is just the beginning.”

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