The Humane AI Pin lacks a traditional screen, doesn’t support third-party applications, and comes with a rather intrusive camera.
The Humane AI Pin, often described as a bizarre cross between Google Glass and a pager, has been creating quite a buzz in the tech world. This compact device, priced at $700, is touted as a revolutionary replacement for your smartphone, but its peculiar combination of features raises some eyebrows.
At first glance, the Humane AI Pin appears to be a voice assistant box with a microphone, speaker, and a camera. Unlike some voice-activated devices, it doesn’t respond to a hot word and isn’t always listening. Instead, you must press a button to interact with it. The camera is intended to capture your surroundings, but this can feel somewhat invasive as you’ll be wearing it at chest level, essentially pointing a camera at everyone you encounter.
Despite its claim to replace smartphones, the Humane AI Pin takes a step backward by not supporting any third-party apps. Users are locked into the services provided by Humane’s Android-based “Cosmos” OS. This means you’ll be limited to the features and services offered by Humane, such as music streaming from Tidal.
Navigating the Humane AI Pin’s screenless interface can be challenging. It relies on a combination of lights and gestures for interaction, which can feel like learning a new language. A basic text output on the device could have greatly improved its usability.
In terms of hardware, the Humane AI Pin features an aluminum and glass design with an eight-core Qualcomm processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It attaches to your shirt with a magnetic clip, and a “battery booster” back provides wireless charging. Despite its advanced features, the absence of a high-resolution display likely contributes to its efficient battery usage.
While the exact processor model remains undisclosed, it’s speculated that it might be a budget component. This raises questions about the device’s processing capabilities, especially considering its price tag of $700.
One of the device’s central features is voice commands, reminiscent of a Star Trek communicator. However, these voice responses appear less impressive compared to established voice assistants like Google Assistant and Siri, with slower response times and the requirement of an always-on T-Mobile connection that costs $24 per month.
OpenAI’s involvement in the device brings advanced voice functionality to the Humane AI Pin, such as summarizing unread messages. It can also search through your messages for specific information. However, the device’s lack of app support limits its compatibility with popular messaging platforms.
The laser display system is one of the standout features, projecting a 720p, monochrome UI onto your hand. Interaction with this UI is based on hand gestures, with a unique method of tilting your hand to select options. Despite its high resolution, the UI is simplified to ensure visibility, which can lead to readability issues.
The inclusion of a camera, similar to Google Glass, may raise privacy concerns. The “Trust light” indicator signals when the camera is in use, but this may not alleviate the discomfort of those being recorded. The camera can also recognize objects and perform actions based on your voice commands, although its practicality in real-world scenarios is questionable.
The absence of an app ecosystem is a notable drawback, as it limits the device’s compatibility and utility. Data collected by the device is stored on a web portal called “.Center,” offering a way to access photos, notes, history, and nutritional data from your voice assistant.
In retrospect, it’s unclear why the Humane AI Pin was not designed as a smartwatch, which could offer similar AI-powered functionalities with the added benefit of a screen. The lack of a comprehensive app store and screenless interface pose significant limitations to this innovative device.
In conclusion, the Humane AI Pin may have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with technology, but its unconventional design and limited ecosystem could deter potential users. Whether this unique blend of features will find a niche in the market remains to be seen, as the device begins taking orders on November 16.