A new wearable device called the AI Pin aims to free people from smartphone addiction through artificial intelligence. Developed by tech startup Humane after five years and $240 million in funding. The large, lapel-sized gadget can be controlled by voice, touch, or by projecting a laser interface onto the user’s hand.
AI Pin leverages natural language AI to have fluid conversations
According to a recent New York Times report, AI Pin leverages natural language AI to have fluid conversations without users having to provide explicit context between questions. Unlike other voice assistants, it can also edit single words in dictated messages rather than forcing users to dictate entire texts to correct errors. The Pin can send texts, listen to music, take wide-angle photos, make calls, and translate conversations in real time.
The AI Pin features a “trust light” that flashes while recording to address privacy concerns related to constantly listening devices. Humane says it does not sell or use customer data to train its AI models.
Will the little AI pin replace your smartphone?
Humane was founded by former Apple executives Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, who want to recreate the usefulness of smartphones without addictive components like endless social media scrolling and distracting notifications.
The Pin will cost $699 plus a $24 monthly wireless plan fee when it launches next year, with an expected sales goal of 100,000 units for the first year. While it may seem niche, Apple only sold 381,000 iPods in the year following its 2001 launch that sparked the smartphone revolution.
Humane has an enviable pre-product valuation
Investors see potential in AI wearables, with Humane already reaching a pre-product valuation of $850 million. Proponents reject skepticism by pointing to the first iPod’s singular use for music that enabled later innovation. Similarly, Humane envisions AI Pin as a platform for developers to create an ecosystem of features for its operating system, like the App Store.
However, even Humane founders still rely heavily on their smartphones, as the AI Pin lacks specific features such as video recording, object recognition, and video playback. Basic features like texting may have issues in demos. It remains to be seen whether consumers will be willing to ditch touchscreens in favor of controlling technology by speaking out loud and using lasers.
But Humane believes that the AI Pin represents the next evolution in human-machine interaction, even with an initial learning curve. The device could one day reduce reliance on distracting screens, but first it needs to prove its standalone usefulness.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Nida Kurt; Pixels; THANKS!