Today, the covers have finally been torn off, perhaps, from the most mysterious and conceptual gadget in recent years. Even before the official announcement, Time included AI Pin in advance in the top 200 best inventions of 2023, but whether Humane will be able to retain the audience’s interest even after the presentation is a big question.
Despite the fact that Humane is headed by former Apple employees, the demo video itself turned out to be something completely un-Apple. For 11 endless minutes, two presenters with the most sour expressions on their faces hesitantly poke their palms, and it turned out to be, frankly speaking, difficult to watch.
What’s the point?
We have already talked about the concept of the gadget: it is a screenless communicator between a person and neural networks. The device does not require apps or a connection to a smartphone, it works directly through the cellular network, and here lies the first catch: the mandatory $24 monthly Humane subscription is added to the already hefty price of $700, without which the device turns into a pumpkin. Or rather, a very high-tech brooch.
The AI Pin is attached to clothing via a magnet: to do this, you need to place a small metal plate or an additional battery under the fabric. Of course, they don’t tell us even an approximate operating time on one battery, but it seems to me that it’s unlikely to be longer than the first Apple Watch.
Next comes the strangest part. To activate the AI Pin, you need to constantly tap on the touchpad on the case, and this immediately kills half the magic. It is unlikely that the developers originally intended such control, since it was assumed that all interaction with the gadget would take place using voice and gestures. But, apparently, in standby mode the battery ran out of charge indecently quickly, so we had to make a compromise.
Requests are sent by voice, and despite the fact that Humane’s main goal is to rid us of interfaces, Ai Pin, oddly enough, still has an interface. This is a projection on the hand, and many were worried that the image would be dim, but, judging by the first videos, it is quite readable, if, of course, it is not graphics. However, how it will look under the bright midday sun is still unclear.
So what can it do?
The same as a smartphone with access to Chat-GPT: make calls, send and receive messages, play music, translate into foreign languages, take photos and videos and, most importantly, connect directly to generative neural networks.
Apparently, so far Ai Pin works mainly with GPT-4, but the creators say that they will not limit themselves to one single neural network and the gadget should become a kind of hub that decides which neuron to send your request to.
And so, on the one hand, it seems that the first pancake came out lumpy for Humane, because so far there is not a single objective reason to exchange a smartphone for this. And personally, it seems to me that in the current format, Ai Pin would look much more appropriate as a smart watch. True, it is unlikely that they would have caused such a stir in the industry.
On the other hand, there is a desire to give the device a chance. In the end, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything conceptually new in the field of wearable electronics, and I’d like to believe that in five to seven years and the next few generations, Ai Pin will be able to turn into a full-fledged “Jarvis” without compromises in the form of a quickly depleting battery and the need for constantly waking him up with a pat on the digital shoulder.