Humane, an AI startup founded by 2 former Apple designers, launches a $699 Humane AI Pin to replace your smartphone

Humane AI is an artificial intelligence (AI) startup founded by former Apple designers and married couple Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno. After months of hype and speculations, the five-year-old company is now out with its first product, the self-proclaimed “smartphone killer.”

On Thursday, Humane unveiled its highly anticipated product, a $699 pin you wear on your lapel. This wearable AI pin is designed to serve as a smartphone replacement, enabling users to make calls, send texts, and access information using voice commands. It boasts a laser display that transforms the palm into a miniature screen, capable of displaying the time, date, or nearby information.

“There are no wake words so it’s not always listening or always recording,” Chaudhri said at the beginning of a 10-minute launch video on the company’s website. “In fact, it doesn’t do anything until you engage with it, and your engagement comes through your voice, touch, gesture or the laser ink display.”

Will the Humane AI Pin Kill the Smartphone?

During a 10-minute launch video on the company’s website, Chaudhri explained that the AI Pin operates without constant listening or recording. It only activates when prompted by the user through voice, touch, gesture, or the laser ink display.

Apart from the initial device cost, users are required to subscribe to a $24 monthly data plan with T-Mobile, as the pin operates independently of a smartphone, possessing its own phone number.

Humane gained attention in March when it secured a $100 million funding round from notable investors such as Microsoft, LG’s venture arm, and Tiger Global, even before unveiling a product. The company, with total funding exceeding $200 million, received contributions from notable figures like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

What is the Humane AI pin’s essential idea?

According to the founders, the AI pin is envisioned to propel us into a future beyond smartphones. Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno said their goal is to help people reconnect with the real world while still providing them with the benefits of technology.

The Humane AI Pin is designed to be a seamless extension of the user. It can be worn on clothing and controlled using voice commands. It can perform many of the same tasks as a smartphone, such as making calls, sending texts, browsing the web, and accessing apps. However, the Humane AI Pin is designed to be less distracting and more intuitive. It is intended to be a tool that people can use to get things done without getting lost in a digital world.

Chaudhri described the Humane AI Pin as a “healthier alternative” to the current situation, where people are constantly glued to their smartphones. He believes that the Humane AI Pin will help people to be more present at the moment and to connect with each other on a deeper level.

In a recent video presentation, Chaudhri and Bongiorno showcased the device’s features, highlighting its Qualcomm chipset power. The AI Pin includes a built-in speaker and camera, with a visible indicator when these functions are active. Users can capture photos or videos with a double tap, accessible through Humane’s web app.

The device’s capabilities extend to real-time translation of spoken conversations between Spanish and English. It doesn’t rely on downloaded apps but accesses AI services directly from the internet, with contributions from Microsoft, Google, OpenAI, and other companies. The AI assistant can provide information, play music from specific genres, and summarize daily calendars or health data. Subscribing to Tidal is necessary for accessing music services.

You can check out their full video below, or read through our overview of the featured highlights.