What if you don’t have to carry around a smartphone but get some of its functionalities? That’s what Humane plans with its AI pin. This wearable projector-like device made another pre-commercial debut, but this time at a lifestyle event. Some models at Coperni’s Spring Summer 2024 show in Paris last month had the small device pinned on their jackets and pants. (And yes, this was the same show we saw the CD-Player Swipe Bag.)
The Humane AI Pin is designed as a screenless, independent, clothing-based device. Former Apple design director Imran Chaudri and his team claim they used artificial intelligence to build this device from the ground up. It’s supposed to act like a non-physical smartphone where you can take calls and interact with a voice assistant, even if your smartphone isn’t with you. They hope this device helps untether us from our reliance on our smartphone screens.
Chaudhri sees AI as a huge opportunity to redefine our relationship with technology and offer a different personal mobile computing experience that’s supposed to be faster, more powerful, and easier to use. The Humane AI Pin runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform. And it should enable intuitive computing interactions through the different sensors on the device.
We don’t know much else about how the technology actually works. But Chaudhri demonstrated some of its capabilities in a TED talk last May. He answered a call from his wife, Bethany Bongiorno, another Apple alumnus in the software engineering department, which we saw he got through the projection on his palm. He didn’t tap on his palm to answer. Instead, it looks like it responded to a voice prompt. In this case, he said, “I’m going to have to get this.” That may have triggered the call pick-up.
Other possible applications include helping you with queries like finding places to shop for certain things and even serving as a personal assistant. Another example Chaudhri showcased during his talk revolved around having it help with his health and dietary concerns. He held up a bar of chocolate in front of the Humane AI pin, tapped on the pin, and asked if he could eat it. The pin answers by describing the chocolate bar first before advising, “Given your intolerance, you may want to avoid it.”
Humane did want to emphasize privacy, given it’s on your person. It has a “no always-on listening” feature that shouldn’t record or analyze conversations unless prompted.
And with its debut at Coperni’s show, the company wanted to emphasize how technology like this can fit into your lifestyle and looks. There seem to be two color options for the Humane AI pin—one in black and another in white. The projector is angled downwards, making it easier to project information onto your palm.
We’re definitely wondering about how this gadget works, like what platform it uses and how long it lasts. But we don’t have to wait too long to get more answers, hopefully. Humane has a launch coming up on November 9.
We’re intrigued by the concept enough to name it our Cool Tech for this week! What do you think about it?