Humane today unveiled its long-awaited artificial intelligence-powered wearable, called the Ai Pin, which the company says will revolutionize the way that people interact with their devices. The device starts with a price tag of $699.
The Pin is a square device that clips magnetically to your clothing or other surfaces so that it stays in place, but the innovation behind the magnetic clip is that it can double as a battery pack. This means that the extra battery is hidden behind the device (under the clothing) and only the device is visible to the outside world, so it can be put inside a shirt pocket or along a lapel. The battery can also be swapped out whenever it gets low for a fresh one to keep the device running throughout the day.
The pin is just under 2 inches square and about a third of an inch thick, without the battery booster attached. This makes it pretty small and about the same size as a lapel pin, someone might wear. Although tiny, it is quite striking with a smooth glass surface and an aluminum housing. With the battery pack, it weighs about 55 grams, or approximately 2 ounces.
The device was first previewed in a TED Talk by Imran Chaudhri, co-founder of Humane, who showed off some of the features including gestures, the projected light screen and its ability to receive phone calls.
“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 said when Humane announced the device in June.
Humane collaborated with Qualcomm Technologies Inc. to power the device and maintain its form factor small. It also enables it to use smart sensors that can react to gestures. Under the hood, it is powered by a 2.1 GHz Octa-core Snapdragon chip with 4GB of RAM and 32GM of storage.
Unlike other devices, the Pin isn’t always listening, it needs to be activated by touch. This makes it much like a communicator from the “Star Trek” SciFi series, pressing down on the touchpad causes it to come to life and when it’s listening there’s a light on the front that indicates that it’s active.
Users can then ask the AI questions and interact with it with their voices, which uses access to OpenAI’s GPT-4. This allows the device to provide personalized responses to questions about almost anything from what’s happening in the world, to everyday life. For example, a user could talk about their day, their schedule, or even their eating habits. The connection to GPT-4 means that it can also use the camera sensor on the front to “see” and answer questions about objects in view.
For example, the wearer might have specific dietary concerns, such as an allergy to soy, so if they were shopping, they might pick up an item from a shelf, tap the pin, and ask, “Should I buy this?” and the pin could then answer in the affirmative or not if it was able to determine if the product had the allergen. It can even recognize fruits and vegetables with the camera and craft responses.
As the pin itself doesn’t have a screen, it is still capable of producing a display by projecting light onto the user’s hand from a small pinhole on its surface. By holding a hand up to the pin, a user can see words or images on their cupped hand. This can come in useful for private information.
Interacting with the display can be done by tilting and rolling the hand and closing the forefinger and thumb to make selections.
Another big feature of the Ai Pin is that it is capable of sending and receiving calls. So, when the pin is being used to receive a call, the caller’s information is projected rather than spoken aloud, which means that the display is visible only to the person who is looking at their hand. The AI can also be used to craft messages when texting as well, allowing people to skip the keyboard entirely. The voice system can read replies aloud or users could have them projected if they choose.
Of course, although the Ai Pin has a speaker and microphone, it comes with Bluetooth 5.1 support so that it can support common accessories such as a headset – which would allow for a greater sense of privacy for conversations.
The voice capability of the AI doesn’t stop there, with GPT-4 it’s also possible to use its translation feature in real-time to use the Pin to step in as an interpreter when there’s a language barrier. It can detect when another language is being spoken, the AI system can translate spoken words into a local dialect to ease communication. To activate the interpreter users must touch the device with two fingers.
The startup has raised $230 million in funding, including $100 million raised in March, which included an investment from OpenAI LP’s founder and CEO Sam Altman.
The Ai Pin goes on sale on Nov. 16 for $699 in the United States, plus a $24 monthly subscription that includes unlimited calling, texting and data through T-Mobile, the company revealed to Wired. Orders begin shipping in early 2024.
After ordering the device, users will need to log into the Humane.center website in order to sync contacts and sign up for additional services such as music. The pin’s onboard camera will be used to scan a code shipped with it to associate it with the online account, where all of its recordings, photos, history, calls and messages will become accessible.
However, Humane stressed that it is a privacy-first company and that user information will not be used to train the AI, only to help personalize the experience. Adding that the system is transparent about what is kept, and users can erase any part of their history at any time.
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