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In case you missed the hype, Humane is a startup founded by ex-Apple executives that’s working on a device called the “Ai Pin” that uses projectors, cameras and AI tech to act as a sort of wearable AI assistant. Now, the company has unveiled the Ai Pin in full at a Paris fashion show (Humane x Coperni) as a way to show off the device’s new form factor. “Supermodel Naomi Campbell is the first person outside of the company to wear the device in public, ahead of its full unveiling on November 9,” Humane wrote.
The company describes the device as a “screenless, standalone device and software platform built from the ground up for AI.” It’s powered by an “advanced” Qualcomm Snapdragon platform and equipped with a mini-projector that takes the place of a smartphone screen, along with a camera and speaker. It can perform functions like AI-powered optical recognition, but is also supposedly “privacy-first” thanks to qualities like no wake word and thus no “always on” listening.”
Humane first flaunted the capabilities of the Ai Pin at a Ted Talk back in May led by co-founder Imran Chaudhri, who previously worked on the iPhone user interface. Though the device itself was mostly hidden, he showed off a variety of sci-fi like features, including the ability to take a call while projecting details on his hand. He also flaunted its ability to translate English to French using AI translation, in Chaudhri’s own voice. Another trick was “catch me up,” a summary of news and information you may have missed.
Other information is less clear, like how the device connects to the internet, as it doesn’t pair with a smartphone. And other than the fact that it frees you from carrying one, it’s hard to see the benefit over a typical smartphone. It’s also not stated exactly how the features worked, and you’d be right to be skeptical about any fancy tech demo.
By presenting it a Paris Fashion Week, Humane seems eager to flaunt the device’s stylish nature (it seems to be available in both black and white), though that’s up for debate. It’s hard to compare to anything else, as there are few wearables out there that attach to clothing. The company will also have to reckon with the stigma (à la Google Glass) of wearing a camera, though the mini-projector is actually pretty cool. In any case, we’ll learn more when it’s fully unveiled next month on November 9.