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Let’s ‘pin’ it on technical problems

​A picture of someone wearing the Humane AI Pin.

A picture of someone wearing the Humane AI Pin.

Courtesy photo by Humane via ABACAPRESS.COM via Reuters

Most of the artificial intelligence we talk about comes packaged in software: chatbots, image generators, and other tools that add an AI kick to your typical internet experience. But one company’s efforts to fuel a brand-new hardware product with AI is getting … less-than-stellar reviews.

The startup Humane is taking orders for its $699 AI pin, a wearable device that wants to replace your smartphone. Humane, which counts OpenAI’s Sam Altman and Microsoft among its funders, also charges users a $24 a month fee that includes a T-Mobile cellular data plan (!) in order to connect you to the internet wherever you go.

This is essentially an AI-powered smart assistant that’s placed on your chest and takes in the world around you, answers your questions, and communicates with others. It has a laser projector instead of a screen, along with a camera and a speaker.

GZERO has not yet tested this very expensive new gadget, but we’ve read the early reviews. One New York Times reviewer admitted the device piqued his curiosity, though he pledged he would never pay so much for it. (The device overheated and shut down on him during a photo shoot.) The Verge was even less amenable: “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.” YouTube gadget czar Marques Brownlee called it, simply, “the worst product I’ve ever reviewed.” It’s essentially a prototype that doesn’t realize it’s still a prototype.


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