Humane, which is helmed by ex-Apple employees Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, has operated in stealth mode until this week, adding to Ai Pin’s hype as the future of computing. Of course, that remains to be seen. The jury is still out on whether Ai Pin is as revolutionary as the iPhone, or if its novelty fails to achieve staying power.
Regardless, Ai Pin is loaded with impressive capabilities that make a compelling case for going screenless. Let’s take a look at the futuristic features Ai Pin is packing to take on the smartphone.
1. Instead of a screen, Ai Pin projects onto your palm
Humane touts Ai Pin as an anti-smartphone, where instead of looking down at a screen, you’re able to interact with the world around you. But sometimes, you need visuals. To compensate for that, Ai Pin is built with a “laser ink display” that can project onto your palm. Similar to the double tap Apple Watch feature, tapping your index finger and thumb together can pause or play music. Other gestures include tilting your hand forward, back, or down, which all have specific actions.
A mini laser projector can display visuals on your hand that can be controlled with hand and finger gestures. Credit: Humane
2. Ai Pin wants to make voice command more of a thing
Because there’s no screen, Ai Pin’s core mode of communicating is through audio. Humane is using OpenAI’s model to handle search and task-handling through voice command, or what it calls Ai Mic.
ChatGPT already has a version of this, so it’s like using that as your main way of interacting with the device. But with Ai Pin all of your apps and accounts are linked to the device, so you can use Ai Mic to search for a reservation code in your inbox or dictate messages to people in your contact list.
Using an OpenAI-powered model, Ai Pin works as your virtual assistant. Credit: Humane
There’s also a function called “Catch Me Up” which sorts through your inbox to contextualize important updates, such as the outcome of an email chain coordinating dinner plans.
3. It can tell you food nutrition facts and translate languages in real-time
In the promo video, a woman uses Ai Pin’s computer vision to look up how much sugar is in a Dragon Fruit, to see whether it meets her dietary goals.
The Ai Pin can also purportedly look at a handful of almonds in your palm and tell how much protein it has — but it might not be totally accurate. Humane is starting with this function as a nutrition tool but says it will expand to more uses in the future.
Another one of Ai Pin’s touted features is real-time translation. The device can recognize the language being spoken and translate it back to you, or vice versa, with a few simple commands.
4. The Ai Pin takes privacy and discretion into account
Unlike other voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, Ai Pin doesn’t have a wake word, meaning it isn’t passively listening to your conversations. It only turns on when the device owner manually activates it. To address surveillance issues, Ai Pin has a “prominent Trust Light” which turns on when the device is in use.
To make sure conversations between you and Ai Pin are private, the device uses a “personic speaker” that creates a “bubble of sound.”
Ai Pin and accessories start at $699, plus $24 a month for a cellular plan through T-Mobile. Humane will start taking orders for Ai Pin on November 16 and will start shipping in early 2024.