A covert software and hardware firm, Humane, is making the most of the media frenzy cycle. The startup was established in 2017 by Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri, both former employees of Apple. The company has been mostly cloaked in secrecy over the past five years as it has assembled the components of a mysterious wearable that it claims would use AI in novel ways.
Even before it gave the least hint of what it has been working on, the firm generated a lot of attention when it first started interacting with the media. Despite these mysteries—or maybe because of them—Humane is now a well-funded early-stage firm.
It raised a $30 million Series A with a $150 million value by the end of 2020. Following that, in September, the $100 million B round was announced, with participation from Qualcomm Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, BOND, SoftBank Group, and Tiger Global Management. Everything appeared to be a resounding endorsement of the still-seductive corporation. It successfully raised an additional $100 million in March.
Sam Altman also contributes significantly to the company. So, it is no surprise that OpenAI is a crucial partner in the artificial intelligence portion of the project.
Humane announced in June that its first item will be an “AI Pin.”
The business then stated, “The [AI Pin is a] connected and intelligent clothing-based wearable device uses a range of sensors that enable contextual and ambient compute interactions.” The Ai Pin is a specific kind of standalone device with a software platform that uses artificial intelligence to provide cutting-edge personal computing experiences.
It was announced today that the device would be unveiled on November 9 during an event. However, it is currently being worn at a few Parisian fashion events. Supermodel Naomi Campbell supposedly appeared surprised with the gadget on her lapel at Coperni’s 2024 Spring Summer runway presentation at Paris Fashion Week, making her the “first person outside of the company to wear the device in public.”
Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, the creators of Humane, stated in a release that they had long admired Arnaud and Sébastien Coperni. “Our shared passion for the union of design, creativity, and technology is at the heart of this collaboration,” they said. As our devices become extensions of our bodies, thoughts, and souls, “our relationship with technology is profoundly changing and becoming even more personal.”
They called the setup “a new paradigm of ambient, AI-driven computing.” Humane goes on to say the following about the device:
The screenless, independent hardware and software platform, the Humane Ai Pin, was created specifically for AI. The intelligent wearable, built on clothes, is intended to blend smoothly into users’ daily lives and employs a variety of sensors to enable natural and intuitive computing interactions. The gadget prioritizes privacy, reflecting Humane’s goal to create goods with trust. This includes no wake word and no “always on” listening.
You’re not mistaken if you think that sounds like a combination of buzzwords. It’s hard to separate the finished item from the self-created hype until we see it in action. It’s clear from the photographs that the gadget has no screen, yet the huge front may have some use. On top of that are what appear to be front-facing sensors that are perhaps joined by sensors on top that are pointed toward the wearer’s face.
Similar to what businesses have promoted with LTE-enabled wearables, Humane is aggressively pushing the “standalone device” story, which suggests that part of the draw here might be the opportunity to leave your smartphone at home.
It appears that we will have a better response in a few months.