Humane Debuts $700 AI Pin With 'Laser Ink Display'

Humane, a tech startup run by former Apple designer Imran Chaudhri and former Apple software manager Bethany Bongiorno, 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.

humane ai pin 1
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.

humane ai pin 2
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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Top Rated Comments

Analog Kid Avatar
7 months ago
Technologically, this looks like quite an achievement, and there's a lot of interesting ideas bundled into it, but I really don't like talking to my technology...

But then I thought, "What if they'd integrated this same tech into an animatronic parrot that would sit on my shoulder?" I would have been all over it. Having my text messages read out in a parrot voice? Pure gold.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
truthsteve Avatar
7 months ago
this looks so bad and I feel so sorry for anyone who invested in this company and anyone who placed a preorder. lol

that projector on hand feature is a classic example of gimmick ideas.

what happens if they get on a crowded train and someone just snatches it

why would I want someone to listen to my phone calls

if I'm underground and there's no internet, how will this product be useful to me in getting directions or doing practically anything else other than taking video or listening to music.

I don't think they thought this product through.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
calimed Avatar
7 months ago
I rarely ever comment on anything but this deserved one.

This is absolutely terrible. One of the worst product announcements I’ve ever seen. I would rather burn $700 to warm my hands on this cold night than spend money on this thing.

On a positive note this would have been amazing before the iPhone was invented. So kudos to whomever invented this, but it’s about a decade or so too late.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vegetassj4 Avatar
7 months ago
This has been done before...

Scotty...beam me up:

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Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jeroenvip Avatar
7 months ago
See if the laser actually could heat up my coffee mug, it would be worth spending money in it. I am also not sure of the AI pin is compatible with the apple cleaning cloth. I mean it will get dirty outside while wearing this.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DTphonehome Avatar
7 months ago
I give them credit for trying something out of the box. If it can actually perform like they say it can, it can have its uses. Many people are tired of being locked to their smartphones. The laser display interface seems pretty cool.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)