Humane Inc, the 2018 tech startup launched by two ex-Apple technologists, last week unveiled their revolutionary new technology––a lapel pin which reimagines the seamless integration of AI into users’ daily lives. Without a screen, the pin relies solely on the user’s speech to carry out its commands. From anything from creating a grocery list to translating a new language, the pin blends into the background while still remaining a sizable force in its abilities.
The pin includes a camera, speaker, depth and motion sensors, and more to better understand and customize to its environment. While the idea of wearing a pin with all of these features is technologically fascinating, it––for obvious reasons––poses a question of privacy.
However, Humane has notified potential customers that “the device only activates upon user engagement and does not employ ‘wake words’, ensuring it is not always listening or recording. Ai Pin features a prominent Trust Light which indicates when any sensors are active, which is managed via a dedicated privacy chip. If compromised, Ai Pin will shut down and require professional service from Humane.”
Among the AI pin’s features includes a magnetic latch with which a client could attach it to their clothes along with a wireless charging method. In an intriguing addition, the pin also contains a Laser Ink Display which basically allows the pin to project a screen onto the user’s palm. With this use, an actual screen for the device is rendered unnecessary, and the user can use hand gestures to control the GUI. Similar to gestures on AirPods, tapping with multiple fingers or lengths also prompts the pin to perform predetermined functions like taking pictures, translating something, or increasing the volume. Utilizing the camera feature in an ingenious way, the pin can also scan any foods/fruits/vegetables you have in your vicinity and give dietary suggestions like how many calories/fiber it adds. Another compelling feature of this pin is the “Catch me up” component. Similar to how the iPhone groups together notifications and only allows in emergency contacts in specific focus settings, if you ask the pin to “Catch me up,” it will give a recap of all of your notifications. This does not just read out your messages, however. It summarizes them and provides a synopsis of what you missed.
With such incredible features packed in a compact gadget, it is predictable that its price would reflect that. Currently, the AI pin is set to be sold at $699 with a $24 monthly subscription fee. Founders Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno are excited for the prospects of their new technology, and see it as the latest step in truly inviting AI to be a constant support in everyday lives.