Thursday, April 11, 2024

Humane Ai Pin Reviews

David Pierce (Hacker News):

The AI Pin is an interesting idea that is so thoroughly unfinished and so totally broken in so many unacceptable ways that I can’t think of anyone to whom I’d recommend spending the $699 for the device and the $24 monthly subscription.

AI Pin and its AI OS, Cosmos, are about beginning the story of ambient computing,” Humane’s co-founders, Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, told me in a statement after I described some of the issues I’ve had with the AI Pin. “Today marks not the first chapter, but the first page. We have an ambitious roadmap with software refinements, new features, additional partnerships, and our SDK. All of this will enable your AI Pin to become smarter and more powerful over time. Our vision is for Cosmos to eventually exist in many different devices and form factors, to unlock new ways to interact with all of your devices.”

As the overall state of AI improves, the AI Pin will probably get better, and I’m bullish on AI’s long-term ability to do a lot of fiddly things on our behalf. But there are too many basic things it can’t do, too many things it doesn’t do well enough, and too many things it does well but only sometimes that I’m hard-pressed to name a single thing it’s genuinely good at. None of this — not the hardware, not the software, not even GPT-4 — is ready yet.


Dunking on the Humane Ai Pin is too easy.

I’d sooner dunk on the Apple Watch because we should be able to point at that, and ask why you’d ever want a lapel pin to do its job.

We should be able to say it’s the perfect device for people who want to live a phone-free life.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Neither Vision Pro nor Humane’s Ai Pin are ‘the future’, but they’re both showcasing aspects that will become the future. A pair of glasses, running an OS like visionOS, with advanced multimodal AI smarts. That’s the next product that can truly change the world, something anybody and everybody can wear all day every day, and give the smartphone a run for its money; what we have now are science projects — really cool science projects — but science projects nonetheless.

See also: Ken Kocienda, Imran Chaudhri, Bethany Bongiorno.


Update (2024-04-12): Julian Chokkattu:

Not being able to fully trust the results from the Ai Pin’s Ai Mic and Vision features (the latter is still in beta) is just one problem with this wearable computer. Unfortunately, there’s not much else to do with it as it’s missing a great many features. The Humane Ai Pin could be an interesting gadget a year from now after promised software updates, but at the moment it’s a party trick.

Cherlynn Low:

Not only is the Humane AI Pin slow, finicky and barely even smart, using it made me look pretty dumb. As it stands, the device doesn’t do enough to justify its $700 and $24-a-month price.


If only voice interactions were the worst thing about the Humane AI Pin, but the list of problems only starts there. I was most intrigued by the company’s “pioneering Laser Ink display” that projects green rays onto your palm, as well as the gestures that enabled interaction with “onscreen” elements. But my initial wonder quickly gave way to frustration and a dull ache in my shoulder. It might be tiring to hold up your phone to scroll through Instagram, but at least you can set that down on a table and continue browsing. With the AI Pin, if your arm is not up, you’re not seeing anything.


It’s not just those of us afflicted with tiny palms that will find the AI Pin tricky to see. Step outside and you’ll have a hard time reading the faint projection. Even on a cloudy, rainy day in New York City, I could barely make out the words on my hands.

Dare Obasanjo:

I continue to believe that the problems that products like the Humane AI Pin and Rabbit R1 are trying to solve are best solved using AirPods and an app on your phone.

The only issue is Apple’s closed ecosystem prevents companies from doing this so they’re inventing superfluous devices nobody asked for.

Louie Mantia:

A team with this collective pedigree is smart enough to thoroughly test their own product, so I can’t imagine a reality in which the people at Humane didn’t know about these issues before shipping it. However, if we assume they did know, the story becomes somehow more troubling.

Ben Sandofsky:

It fits my theory that the product was a late stage pivot…

Founders pitch investors on a hand laser thing when it’s a napkin sketch. They raise too much money, hire too many people.

They build a prototype, but too late. Turns out the laser UI sucks and eats too much battery.

“Hmm. Investors are shopping for AI companies now… voice uses less power… pivot to AI!”

Suddenly tech has a downturn. Can’t raise another round of funding. They launch an alpha.

Update (2024-04-26): See also:

6 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

These reviews are the first thing I’ve enjoyed about this cursed product. The longform behind the scenes pieces about it will be the second.

The perfect device for people who want to live a phone-free life is a smartwatch. But not the Apple Watch. It is a truly standalone (does not require any other device for anything, including setup, although I would accept it if it required a Mac; I do NOT want to own a standard smartphone, not even for free!) and has a telescopic rotating retractable camera, protected from dust and sweat when hidden in what seems the crown neck.

It is like a miniaturized smartwatch with all its capabilities. You carry it in your wrist and do not notice it. Your hands and mind are free. You do not lose it. Not even thieves look for it. You can sleep with it and use a vibrating alarm to not disturb others when needed.

Amazingly, it costs about 100 USD ($), although I would buy one for ~1,000 from Apple if they made it as well. Unfortunately, they do not do it yet. But at least I have the cheaper one.

One last word. It is really amazing. It has changed my life!

I don't buy the assertion that "A pair of glasses, running an OS like visionOS, with advanced multimodal AI smarts" is the future. I think it could be *part* of the future, but I don't know if I believe that people will gladly start wearing glasses all the time, even if they don't need a prescription. I also don't buy the idea that people will be OK with the safety and privacy concerns of such a device. That was one big issue that hampered Google glass and the concerns are legitimate

@MeX: What watch are you using?

@Alexander: It is a square one (not circular-round, which is convenient for web pages and applications in general). You can find it searching Google for Android smartwatch with telescopic rotating retractable camera on crown. It is available in silver (what they call gold) and black colors. For instance:

BTW, in relation to what Mark said about safety and privacy concerns, I forgot to say that the telescopic camera is a great bonus, since it is only visible and active when you extract it manually.

I only wish that Apple made a watch like that, even for 1,000 USD!

Watching the reviews I'm left with the impression that the Ai Pin is a slow but portable Google home.

I can't see why I'd want that.

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