Humane’s first gadget, the AI Pin, is currently slated to launch on November 9th, but we just got our best look at it yet thanks to a somewhat unexpected source. Before it has even been announced, the AI Pin is one of Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions of 2023,” along with everything from the Framework Laptop 16 to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 to the Bedtime Buddy alarm clock.
The write-up is brief and relatively light on details, but there are a couple of new details, along with the best photo we’ve seen yet of the device. It appears the AI Pin will attach magnetically to your clothing, and uses “a mix of proprietary software and OpenAI’s GPT-4” to power its many features. (If you remember, that includes everything from making calls to translating speech to understanding the nutritional information in a candy bar.)
Most interesting of all: the AI Pin has a “Trust Light,” which lights up anytime the device’s camera, microphone, or other sensors are recording data in some way. (I’m assuming the Trust Light is the yellow light to the left of the camera in the Time photo.)
Humane has been hyping the AI Pin for months, all the way back to a TED talk in April in which co-founder Imran Chaudhri showed some demos that left us with more questions than answers. Since then we’ve seen the Pin at Paris Fashion Week, and Humane was supposed to share more information on October 14th but has since pushed its official announcement to November 9th.
Chaudhri has called the Pin “a new kind of wearable device and platform,” and said it doesn’t require a smartphone or any other device — which raises lots of questions about how the Pin is going to work. It’s no surprise that there’s a lot of large language model-based tech in here, though, given how much Humane has talked up the Pin’s AI capabilities. Chaudhri is one of a number of former Apple employees at the company, and Humane has played up that connection in positioning the Pin as the next big thing.
Humane has certainly created some hype around its upcoming product, but it’s also in an increasingly competitive AI gadget business. Rewind announced the Rewind Pendant, which offers a lot of the same “keep you on top of your day” capabilities the Pin promises; Sam Altman and Jony Ive are reportedly working together on AI-centric hardware; smart glasses with AI assistants are suddenly a booming category thanks to Meta, Amazon, and others. The industry is in a race to figure out what new hardware can be enabled by AI.
There’s still a lot (like, a lot) we don’t know about how the AI Pin works, what it’ll do, or how it might fit into your life. But it appears the company is still on track to launch it on November 9th. We’ll see soon enough if this is the wearable of the future.