In the ever-evolving world of technology, Humane's latest offering, the AI Pin, marks a significant step forward. Designed for voice interaction with large language models, the AI Pin deviates from traditional app-based gadgets, offering a more intuitive and conversational user experience.
This innovative device comes in two parts: a square gadget and a battery pack, both magnetically attachable to clothing or other surfaces. Priced at $699, the AI Pin also necessitates a $24 monthly subscription for a Humane service, including a phone number and data coverage via T-Mobile’s network.
Upon viewing the introductory video, I missed the quintessential "aha moment" often associated with groundbreaking tech products. While impressive in concept, the AI Pin didn’t evoke the same immediate sense of wonder.
The device boasts a range of controls, including voice commands, gestures, a camera, and a small built-in projector. Its primary function is facilitating seamless interaction with AI models through what Humane named the AI Mic. Notably, Humane’s press release highlights partnerships with Microsoft and OpenAI, and the device is believed to be predominantly powered by GPT-4. ChatGPT access is touted as one of the Pin’s central features. Its operating system, Cosmos, is designed to intuitively route queries to appropriate tools, eschewing the traditional app-based interface.
Humane's vision with the AI Pin is to simplify the user-technology interface drastically. The device eschews a traditional home screen and the plethora of settings and accounts that typically accompany technology. The concept is straightforward: users interact with the Pin, stating their needs or inquiries, and the device responds appropriately and autonomously.
However, investor Sam Altman’s stance on the AI Pin seems ambivalent. Speaking with the WSJ’s Joanna Stern, Altman expressed uncertainty about the future of AI hardware. His comments to the NYT further underscore this ambiguity, acknowledging Humane’s first-mover advantage but noting that success ultimately lies in the hands of consumers. Altman’s pragmatic view reflects the unpredictable nature of technology markets, where even the most promising products can falter.
The Humane AI Pin positions itself as a wearable, AI-powered search engine. Its novel approach, eschewing traditional interfaces for a more streamlined, AI-centric user experience, is both its biggest gamble and its most intriguing feature. As with all pioneering technology, its success or failure will be determined by the market's response to this innovative approach to human-AI interaction.
Do I genuinely believe we will rush out to buy AI Pins to chat with our GPTs? No.
Will I be purchasing a Humane AI Pin? I'm still not convinced, maybe MKBHD can change that through a forthcoming YouTube review.
However, this is the beginning of an era. Hardware powered by AI will look vastly different than what we're used to seeing. We're getting closer to a future of ambient computing where having one screen will be less of a necessity since everything will be connected on the backend, and our AI assistants will replace apps and provide us endless streams of context. To get there, the leading hardware will change. Receiving context through eyes, ears, and hands is to be expected.