Humane unveils Ai Pin: Is it an iPhone killer or damp squib? | Cult of Mac

Humane unveils Ai Pin: Is it an iPhone killer or damp squib?


Humane AI Pin
The Humane AI Pin goes on your clothing and may or may not replace your iPhone.
Photo: Humane

After months of cryptic hints and teasing demos, startup Humane finally put its supposedly iPhone-killing Ai Pin on sale Thursday for $700, plus subscription costs.

You pin it to your clothes and interact with it through voice, touch control, gestures and laser projections on your hand.

The question is, will this thing really kill the iPhone? To those who don’t like talking to devices except when absolutely necessary, it must seem unlikely.

Humane Ai Pin launches for $700 plus subscription costs

Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, the married former Apple executives directing a staff full of ex-Apple talent at Humane, introduced and demonstrated the pin in a YouTube video (below).

Humane employs more than 140 staffers. About 60 of them came from Apple. Chaudri’s Apple history is tied closely to iPhone development while Bongiorno’s tracks with iPad.

What is it?

The three color choices are black, white and gray.
The three color choices are black, white and gray, but you can mix colors with protective shields at additional cost.
Photo: Humane

The pin relies on artificial intelligence queries. You can ask it questions and tell it to do things, similar to how you’d use Siri (but smarter, no doubt). It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset over Humane’s network with data coverage provided by T-Mobile. The hardware comes in two pieces, the pin (computer) and a battery pack you can swap out with a fresh one when needed.

“A battery booster powers a smaller battery inside the main computer,” Chaudhri said. “This is how we achieve all day battery life.”

And it appears the device isn’t always listening or recording your activity.

“There are no wake words. So it’s not always listening or always recording,” Chaudri noted. “In fact, it doesn’t do anything until you engage with it. And your engagement comes through your voice, touch, gesture or the lasering display.”

The pin features an ultra-wide RGB camera plus depth sensor and motion sensors. And of course there’s audio.

“It’s got this really special speaker that creates this bubble of sound,” Chaudri said. “It can be really intimate or it can be really liked.” As he said that, the audio coming from the pin increased pretty much to the point where an ordinary person in public might be considered to be disturbing the peace (or at least become a tad self-conscious about bothering others).

You can view the full introductory video below for more details about how it works.

Watch the sales pitch

Availability and pricing

Preorders of Humane Ai Pin begin November 16 and shipping commences in early 2024. You pay $699 for the pin and $24 per month for a Humane subscription that gives you a phone number and T-Mobile data coverage. The hardware comes in three colors: eclipse (black), lunar (white) and equinox (gray). You can sign up for updates here.

For accessories, Humane said it will offer a magnetic clip for “large articles of clothing” (like Bongiorno’s thick leather jacket in the video) or items like handbags, plus a lighter device for attachment to items like blouses or workout clothes, as well as protective shields in different colors. In addition, a rugged USB-C charging case will hold and charge the pin and battery.

More about Humane Ai Pin on Cult of Mac:


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