What is the deal?
Have you ever dreamed of ditching your smartphone and living a screen-free life? Well, you are not alone. A bunch of former Apple executives had the same idea and founded Humane. Their start-up has raised over $200 million from investors, including OpenAI’s former CEO Sam Altman, Salesforce’s CEO Marc Benioff, Microsoft and Tiger Global, who believe in their vision of a more natural, intuitive, and humane way of interacting with technology.
Humane just launched its first and highly awaited product: the AI Pin. The AI Pin is an artificial intelligence-powered wearable device that clips to your clothes or anything else you want. It has a camera, a speaker, a microphone, a touchpad, and a laser projector that can project information onto your hand. You can also talk to it, like a friendly companion. And you don’t need your smartphone to use it, because it connects to a wireless network powered by T-Mobile.
The AI Pin is supposed to offer you a new way of experiencing the world, one that is more natural, intuitive, and humane. Sounds amazing, right? Or maybe too good to be true? Let’s start reviewing some of the AI Pin’s amazing and innovative features!
What are the features?
Humane just released the AI Pin to great fanfare. How come not? Let’s talk about the several innovations the Pin AI brings to the table:
First, a laser ink display that projects information onto your hand, such as texts, calls, or notifications. You can also use gestures to control the device, such as tapping your fingers together or swiping your palm.
Second, a speaker that delivers sound directly to your ear, without the need for headphones. You can also use voice commands to talk to the device, such as asking questions, sending messages, or playing music.
Third, a trust light that indicates when the device is recording or listening, to ensure your privacy and security. You can also manually activate the device, as it does not use a wake word like Siri or Alexa.
Finally, a power system that allows you to swap the battery booster on the go, to ensure uninterrupted usage and all-day battery life.
However, despite the hype and the novelty, the AI Pin faces major challenges.
What are the drawbacks?
The AI Pin faces four major challenges that may prevent it from becoming a success.
Number one, the user interface is too limited and impractical. The laser ink display is not very legible or comfortable, especially in bright or uneven backgrounds. The voice and gesture controls are not very reliable or accurate, especially in noisy or crowded environments. The device also lacks many features and functions that smartphone users expect, such as apps, games, videos, or photos.
Number two, the device is too expensive and exclusive. The AI Pin costs six hundred ninety-nine dollars, plus a monthly fee of twenty-four dollars for the wireless network. This is much higher than the average price of a smartphone, which is around four hundred dollars.
Number three, the device seems very intrusive and even creepy. Yes, the camera on the device is constantly pointing at people and objects, which may raise privacy and ethical concerns. The device also requires you to speak to it or look at your hand, which may draw unwanted attention or ridicule from passersby. The device also collects and processes a lot of personal data, which may pose security and regulatory risks.
Number four, the device is too niche and unnecessary. The AI Pin does not solve a real problem or offer a real value proposition. Most smartphone users are satisfied with their devices and do not feel the need to switch to a screenless device.
The AI Pin also does not offer any significant advantages or benefits over existing devices, such as smartwatches, smart glasses, or earbuds. The AI Pin also does not have a clear target market or customer segment, as it appeals to neither tech enthusiasts nor mainstream consumers.
What is the Verdict?
The AI Pin is a device that tries to be innovative and disruptive, but fails to deliver on its promises and expectations. However, that is not the end of the story, of course. The question is: what type of device do you think will replace the smartphone then? Here are some possible candidates!
Number one, yes, wearable devices competing directly with the AI Pin, such as smartwatches, smart glasses, or smart jewelry, that can connect to the internet and provide various functions and features without the need for a screen or a keyboard.
Number two, virtual reality and augmented reality devices, such as headsets, goggles, or contact lenses, that can create immersive and interactive experiences by overlaying digital content onto the physical world or transporting the user to a virtual environment called the metaverse.
Number three, artificial intelligence devices, such as personal assistants, chatbots, or robots, that can understand, communicate, and learn from the user and the environment, and provide personalized and contextualized services and solutions.
What is the future then?
I dream of the time when I don’t need to use screens or keyboards to interact with computers or the internet. A future where my brain is able to interact directly with the world around us, at super speeds. This may sound like science fiction, but it is closer to reality than you might think.
Scientists and engineers are working on developing brain-computer interfaces, BCIs, that can enable seamless communication between our minds and machines. BCIs are devices that can record, decode, and stimulate brain activity, allowing us to control external devices with our thoughts, or receive sensory feedback from them.
There are different types of BCIs, depending on how they are connected to the brain. Some are invasive, meaning they require surgery to implant electrodes inside the brain tissue. Others are non-invasive, meaning they can be worn on the head or attached to the scalp, using electrical, magnetic, or optical signals to measure brain activity. There are also hybrid BCIs, which combine both invasive and non-invasive methods.
There are still many burning questions that we need to address as we enter the era of brain-computer interaction. It is an incredibly exciting and promising field, but also a hugely complex and uncertain one. The future of technology is astonishingly unpredictable and exciting, so buckle up before we start witnessing new breakthroughs and innovations that will change the way we communicate, work, and live.