| Cult of Mac

Even more reasons Humane’s Ai Pin is a total bust


On-screen text says
Why Humane's introductory video for the Ai Pin begins with co-founder Imran Chaudhri shuffling a series of boxes stacked like a snowman I do not understand. And that is just the first five seconds of the dreadful presentation.
Photo: Humane

In a tedious and awkward 10-minute video released Thursday, buzzy startup Humane gave a more thorough introduction of its Ai Pin. The video all but confirms my feelings that we are seeing the next hilarious Silicon Valley failure play out in real time.

Since co-founder Imran Chaudhri’s TED Talk earlier this year, where we got a vague introduction to the supposed iPhone-killer’s features, there remained a slim chance — one in a hundred — that the then-unnamed device wasn’t a total waste.

Any ounce of doubt has been washed away as this new video doubles down on the Ai Pin’s flaws and walks back its only positives. In fact, the introductory video clearly demonstrates why the device will fail: The AI gave completely wrong answers and provided no way to check their accuracy. It’s absolutely untrustworthy.

Why Humane’s screenless AI gadget will not replace your iPhone


Imran Chaudhri standing on stage at a TED Talk with the phrase “Screenless Seamless Sensing” written on a slide behind him
People want seamless. They might want sensing. But they absolutely do not want screenless.
Photo: Humane/TED Talks

Humane, the hot Silicon Valley startup that’s been drumming up interest in its secretive product recently, finally showed the world what its A-list talent has been working on. In a TED talk released on Tuesday, Humane co-founder Imran Chaudhri unveiled a small, screenless, badge-like device that the company hopes will replace the smartphone.

Humane is  a buzzy startup that’s raised more than $230 million from investors and has hired a lot of ex-Apple talent. It’s estimated 50% of the company’s 200 employees are from Apple. Chaudhri was one of the lead designers of the original iPhone, and contributed to dozens of Apple’s biggest products (the Mac, iPod, Apple TV, Apple Watch, AirPods and HomePod). His name is on thousands of patents. He met his wife, Humane co-founder Bethany Bongiorno, at Apple. And they hired Ken Kocienda, who literally wrote the book on Apple’s creative process.

I’m laying out their credentials here at the top because it is remarkable to me how such a team could miss the mark by such an incredible margin. Humane’s badge thing cannot and will not replace your iPhone, no matter how hard Chaudhri wishes that to be the case.

See full demo of Humane’s AI-powered ‘iPhone killer’


You call that an iPhone killer? See Humane’s first public demo.
Screens?! We don't need no stinkin' screens!!"
Screenshot: Humane/TED Talks

Humane, a startup founded by Apple veterans, recently gave a demo of a device intended to kill the smartphone. The new device doesn’t have a display — instead, it projects information onto the user’s hand. But that’s just hardware — the company’s real goal is creating a personalized artificial intelligence that can go everywhere.

Initial details of the as-yet-unnamed product leaked out a few weeks ago. The full video demonstration is now ready to be watched.

Humane’s upcoming iPhone-killer looks to be a projection device


Humane's teaser video has a strong
Humane's teaser video has a strong "1984" vibe.
Photo: Humane

It looks like Humane’s upcoming iPhone-killer will be a laser-projection system after all, based on a cryptic teaser video that dropped Friday.

Humane is a San Francisco startup staffed with a glittering roster of ex-Apple talent, many of whom were instrumental in developing the original iPhone.

The company hasn’t yet announced its first product, but patents hint Humane is working on a smart, screenless device that projects information onto the environment around the user.

Secretive startup full of Apple talent aims to change your life through wearables


Humane's wearable ditches a screen in favor of lasers, which project info out into the world. Here it is showing a thermostat projected on a user's hand.
Humane's wearable ditches a screen in favor of lasers, which project info out into the world. Here it is showing a thermostat projected on a user's hand.
Photo: Humane

The people who invented the iPhone are trying to invent what comes after the iPhone, and it sounds bonkers.

A secretive San Francisco startup called Humane appears to be developing a wearable, screen-less device that uses low-powered lasers to project information out into the wearer’s environment. And there’s not an AR/VR headset in sight.

First Apple Watch concept drawing reveals brilliance of original designs


Apple Watch concept
Imran Chaudhri drew this Apple Watch concept sketch long before the release of this wearable.
Photo: Imran Chaudhri

Imran Chaudhri, who played a pivotal role in the Apple Watch’s creation, offered an inside look into the device’s design process Friday, showing off an early concept drawing of the smartwatch’s home screen.

His sketch, shared on the 5-year anniversary of the Apple Watch launch, looks amazingly close to what is in use now. He also showed off a video of the very first Apple Watch band and talked about the history of some Watch faces.

These are some of the things which inspired the original iPhone


2G iPhone on eBay
Apple clearly wanted to create something iconic.
Photo: jdinman1/eBay

Pop quiz: What do the original Mac, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, supersonic airplane Concorde, the Sony Walkman, and the Braun ET66 calculator have in common?

Give up? The answer is that they’re all cited as inspirations for designing the original iPhone back in 2007. The full list was recently shared by Imran Chaudhri, one of the software designers who helped create Apple’s breakthrough smartphone.

The inside story of the iconic ‘rubber band’ effect that launched the iPhone


Bas Ording Apple interface designer
Former Apple designer Bas Ording created the rubber band effect, which convinced Steve Jobs to build the iPhone.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

iPhone turns 10 One day in early 2005, interface designer Bas Ording was sitting in a secret, windowless lab at Apple HQ when the phone rang. It was Steve Jobs.

The first thing Jobs says is that the conversation is super-secret, and must not be repeated to anyone. Ording promises not to.

“He’s like, ‘Yeah, Bas, we’re going to do a phone,'” Ording told Cult of Mac, recalling that momentous call from long ago. “‘It’s not going to have any buttons and things on it, it’s just a screen. Can you build a demo that you can scroll through a list of names, so you could choose someone to call?’ That was the assignment I got, like pretty much directly from Steve.”

Birth of the iPhone: How Apple turned clunky prototypes into a truly magical device


iPhone 2G prototype
iPhone 2G prototype
Photo: Jim Abeles/Flickr CC

iPhone turns 10 The world had never seen anything like the iPhone when Apple launched the device on June 29, 2007. But the touchscreen device that blew everyone’s minds immediately didn’t come about so easily.

The iPhone was the result of years of arduous work by Apple’s industrial designers. They labored over a long string of prototypes and CAD designs in their quest to produce the ultimate smartphone.

This excerpt from my book Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products offers an inside account of the iPhone’s birth.

This post contains affiliate links. Cult of Mac may earn a commission when you use our links to buy items.

Steve Jobs demanded Android-style back button for iPhone


iPhone could have looked a lot different had Steve Jobs had his way.
iPhone could have looked a lot different had Steve Jobs had his way.
Photo: Apple

Since it made its debut in 2007, the iPhone has relied on just one physical button for returning to the Home screen. But if Steve Jobs had his way, it would have had two.

The Apple co-founder and former CEO tried to convince other executives that the iPhone also needed an Android-style back button for navigation.