Humane’s AI pin: a voice-activated badge that aims to compete with the smartphone – Le Monde Numérique

The American start-up Humane, based in San Francisco, presented its latest revolutionary product, the AI ​​Pin, this Thursday, November 9, during a conference at its California headquarters. This is an innovative electronic device that is worn on the chest and controlled by voice. The AI ​​Pin aims to leverage recent advances in artificial intelligence and transform the way we interact with technology, especially in environments where the use of voice is preferable. You can find all the details here.

The AI ​​Pin device, presented a few days ago by the company Humane, offers various functionalities, such as summarizing messages, searching for information in the email inbox or even answering practical questions in the Internet advisor. Although it is based on the principle of voice exchange and to avoid interference in public spaces where voice responses could be disruptive, Humane offers the possibility of connecting a Bluetooth headset to the AI ​​pin. However, the primary interaction with the device remains voice control, in keeping with the company’s “Voice First” philosophy.

In order to overcome the inconvenience of outdoor use and the lack of a screen like a smartphone, the AI ​​Pin is equipped with a mini laser projector that can display information on the palm of your hand. This allows you to discreetly control certain functions such as music, weather or reading news. Although projection is convenient, it has limitations in visual enjoyment and information density compared to traditional smartphone screens.

The device also has a 13-megapixel camera that can take photos. Humane ensures that the camera does not work continuously and requires manual activation via a small button before speaking. It can analyze images for applications such as tracking calorie consumption, but its effectiveness has yet to be proven.

The AI ​​Pin is scheduled to launch in early 2024 at a price of $700 and also requires a monthly subscription of $24, including access to the phone network and use of various paid AI. The start-up aims to sell 100,000 copies and is initially aimed at early adopters who quickly adopt new technologies.

Aesthetically, the device is available in three versions. It weighs 34.2 grams with dimensions of 44.5 x 47.5 mm and a maximum thickness of about 15 mm. In combination with a magnetic device, a clip or a magnetic “battery amplifier”, the latter can increase the autonomy of the device.

A zone on the front is touch-sensitive, so you can perform some predefined gestures to briefly control it. It has an accelerometer, a gyroscope, an ambient light detector, as well as a magnetometer and GPS. It is powered by an 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chip with 4GB of RAM and an internal storage capacity of 32GB. It is compatible with 4G, dual-channel Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 ac) and also Bluetooth 5.1.

A project led by former Apple employees who worked on the user experience of the first iPhone

Founded in 2018 by former Apple employees Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, Humane already has major backers, having raised $230 million to date. OpenAI founder Sam Altman is the largest shareholder with 15% of the capital. The company has also established partnerships with OpenAI, Microsoft and automaker Volvo.

While the company doesn’t expect the AI ​​Pin to completely replace smartphones initially, it does aim to reduce reliance on screens. However, in a highly competitive market, the question remains whether the AI ​​Pin can prevail against alternatives such as networked glasses or other devices with more sophisticated personal assistants. The future of this technology will likely depend on the development of the underlying AI models and the uses users can make of them.

Official video demonstrating how to use the Humane AI Pin: