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Home / Features / This wearable projector pin wants to replace your smartphone: here’s what you need to know

This wearable projector pin wants to replace your smartphone: here’s what you need to know

Humane's Ai Pin is a wearable projector that packs Ai brains. It wants to replace your smartphone and make you rethink how you use tech.

Humane's Ai Pin being worn on jumper

Late last year, new company on the block, Humane, debuted its Ai Pin. It’s a wearable projector pin that packs all sorts of smarts. The goal? To replace your smartphone. It shrinks down the most essential parts of a your mobile into a 55g square-shaped pin badge that you magnetically clip on your clothes (clip sold separately). Oh, and it also packs the brains behind ChatGPT to tackle just about anything you’ve got to throw at it.

The Ai Pin is about to start shipping out to users that pre-ordered the device. With Humane’s device right around the corner, here’s everything you need to know about the new-fangled wearable.

What does Humane’s Ai Pin even do?

The main point of your smartphone is to make calls – not that anybody does anymore. But to keep this core functionality, Humane’s AI Pin uses an eSIM to keep you connected. This gives you access to a phone number, data to use the device, and cloud storage to store photos and videos which you can access from the web. With all this in one tidy package, the idea of leaving your smartphone behind gets a little less scary.

Humane’s AI Pin runs the Cosmos operating system. Rather than opening up apps as you’re used to, the device goes for “experiences”. The modern-day software calls up various AIs and other tools as you need them. Speaking of AI, that’s the star of the show with this debut product. Using OpenAI’s models (the same ones that power ChatGPT), the device can write messages that sound like you on your behalf, summarise your inbox, translate languages, identify food, plants, and other objects, and answer just about any question you’ve got. It also plays nice with Tidal‘s AI features, and will pack a suite of AI-powered photo editing tools. Oh, and it also projects text onto your hand.

Powering the AI Pin is Qualcomm‘s Snapdragon processor. It lets the device tackle all these features at once. You’ll also find a projector, LED notification light, camera, microphone, depth sensor, motion sensors, personic speaker, Bluetooth, and battery boosters. The camera features a blinking indicator light to let others know when it’s active. But the Pin isn’t always recording or even listening for a wake word – instead you have to manually activate it via the touchpad.

That’s a lot of promise, is it any good?

All of this sounds a little complicated, and Humane has kept much of the device’s functionality under wraps. But as we get closer to launch, we’ve started to get a better look at the Ai Pin. The team behind the device has started to share pictures and videos of it being used in everyday life. They even went to the MWC 2024 tech show in Barcelona to show it off. Let’s get one thing clear right off the bat: this device is really cool. It looks futuristic and modern, and it’s something that puts a smile on our tech loving faces.

We’ve been able to see some practical implementations of the pin. It can handle real-time translations rather well, and the AI vision feature that uses the camera is a great way to get information fast. It also helps you to avoid looking at a screen so much, something we value when every device is competing for the attention of our eyes. But it doesn’t come without its problems.

Most of the AI is handled off-device, which means there’s a delay in it coming back to you. It’s also going to rely heavily on your connectivity via the eSIM. Slow signals are nothing new, but as anyone stuck with E on their phone knows, it turns your smart device into a pretty useless object. While looking cool, the hand gestures look confusing and complicated to master. You have to hold your hand in the right place to pick up the projector. And some of the gestures look as though they’ll give you cramps. There’s definitely going to be a learning curve with the Humane Ai Pin.

Pricing and availability: when can I get my hands on one?

Fancy the idea of ditching your smartphone for this pin badge? It can be yours for $699 – which is mid-range smartphone territory. You’ll also have to shell out for the $24/month subscription for your eSIM, which ties you to using the device. Pre-orders are currently live on Humane’s website, and the device will ship out in April 2024. It was first supposed to arrive in March, but got slightly delayed.

For the time being, you’ll only be able to use the Humane Ai Pin in the US, due to carrier restrictions. However, the fledgling brand recently announced a partnership with SoftBank to provide connectivity for the pin in Japan. It will be rolling out to other countries, but might just take a little while.

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About

Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around seven years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home

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