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.