Humane’s AI Pin is Setting New Standards in Wearable Technology, Challenging the Smartphone Market


Earlier this week, AI startup Humane announced the release of the AI Pin, a device that clips onto the user's lapel and functions similarly to a smartphone.

Earlier this week, AI startup Humane announced the release of the AI Pin, a wearable device designed to clip onto the user’s lapel, which functions like a smartphone and digital interface. 

What is Humane’s AI Pin?

Humane, founded by Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno in 2019, has developed an innovative device that allows users to interact using voice commands, touchpads, or gestures. This technology is centered around the Laser Ink Display, a unique feature that projects information directly onto the user’s palm.

The device, available for purchase later this month, consists of an RGB camera, microphone, depth sensor, and motion sensors – all of which work together to collect and process data directly on the device. It also features a Snapdragon processor with a dedicated Qualcomm AI engine to ensure optimum performance. 

The founders said in the official press release:

“Ai Pin is the embodiment of our vision to integrate AI into the fabric of daily life, enhancing our capabilities without overshadowing our humanity.” 

How Does Humane’s AI Pin Work?

The AI Pin connects to a wireless service through Humane’s mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which is linked to T-Mobile. Devices on this network can receive a cell phone number, allowing users access to unlimited texts and data usage.

As stated, users can interact with the device using voice, touchpad, or the Laser Ink Display.


The Laser Ink Display projects a digital display onto the user’s hand, presenting menus and other digital interfaces. To interact, users can lift, tilt, or roll their palms and close their fingers to select options.

Users can ask questions to the AI Pin’s Interpreter at any time using voice commands by pressing and holding the device’s physical touchpad with two fingers.

Sample questions proposed by Humane for the AI Pin include, “What’s the exhibit Ava texted me about to visit while I’m here?” and “How much does a vintage photograph of a total eclipse cost?” The Pin’s response is then displayed on the digital interface.

Users can issue the “catch me up” voice command to prompt the AI Pin to provide a summary of recent texts and calls. Additionally, the Interpreter has the ability to translate spoken language into a local dialect on demand.

The camera can be activated at any time by either double-tapping the device with two fingers or through a spoken command. The device also generates audio via a “personic speaker” or through paired Bluetooth headphones.

What Does the AI Pin Mean for the Smartphone Market? 

The AI Pin has the potential to be a disruptive influence in the smartphone market due to its ability to combine the traditional smartphone experience alongside virtual assistant capabilities as a part of a smaller wearable device. 

In June 2007, the release of the first iPhone signaled the gradual onset of a new era in smartphones, overshadowing traditional cell phones with limited computing and Internet capabilities. This generation of smartphones offered not only open access to the Internet but also enabled users to download and run local applications.

Since then, the smartphone has become the quintessential personal device for online content consumption.

The AI Pin, while offering basic smartphone functionalities like making calls and connecting with others, also brings the capabilities of a generative AI-driven assistant. Significantly, it frees users from the need to rely on a screen for interaction.

However, while this development is promising, it’s premature to conclude whether such devices could supplant smartphones in the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, the release of the AI Pin underscores the evolving nature of personal devices available to consumers.

The Bottom Line 

The AI Pin holds the potential to integrate the functionalities of smartphones, digital assistants, and AI chatbots into a cohesive solution, potentially redefining user interaction with personal devices.

Whether it will meet these expectations, however, is yet to be determined.


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Tim Keary

Since January 2017, Tim Keary has been an independent technology writer and reporter covering enterprise technology and cybersecurity.