The Ai Pin, the new gadget / wearable device / projector / thing from the secretive startup Humane, might cost as much as $1,000 and may require a monthly subscription for data, according to The Information.
The mysterious device has been in development for years, but we got our first good look at it during co-founder Imran Chaudhri’s presentation at TED this year. In the presentation, he used then unnamed device to accept a phone call, get information about where to buy a gift, translate a sentence that is then spoken in an AI-made version of his voice in French, and even get an opinion on whether he can eat a chocolate bar. It was an impressive demo, though we had a lot of questions about how it all worked.
As the November 9th launch of the device draws near, however, the shape of the Ai Pin is becoming clearer — and The Information’s report has some new details. (Including that the company moved to a November 9th announcement from a planned launch timed with the October 14th eclipse after reports that Sam Altman, Humane’s biggest shareholder, was in discussions with Jony Ive about some kind of AI gadget.)
The Ai Pin is “a small, screenless device about the size of a saltine cracker,” The Information reports, that will have “a camera, a microphone and speaker, a variety of sensors, and a laser projector.” You’ll attach it to your clothes magnetically (as seen in the device’s appearance at Paris Fashion Week). It will have a Snapdragon chip from Qualcomm that will give it “smartphone-level speed, connectivity, camera capabilities and security,” and Humane plans to be an MVNO so that it can sell cellular data that customers can use with the Ai Pin. (Humane co-founder Bethany Bongiorno described the Ai Pin this month as a standalone device that is a “phone, contextual computer, and software platform.”)
The AI features in the Ai Pin will be powered by a proprietary large-language model, The Information says — which we kind of already knew from a short Time writeup that said the device uses “a mix of proprietary software and OpenAI’s GPT.” (A previous version of that article said the Ai Pin used GPT-4, but it that “4” is not present in the live version.) The Time piece also described a “Trust Light” privacy indicator that activates when the camera, microphone, or “input sensors” are on.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the device, or Humane’s future once it launches. But according to The Information’s sources, Humane has a grander vision than just the Ai Pin; “they suggested that Humane is hoping to create a total paradigm shift in consumer computing.” I’m a little skeptical about that one, but I guess we’ll see if Humane hints at that future when it shares more about the Ai Pin on November 9th.