Invested by the father of ChatGPT and built by former Apple employees, this product wants to be the iPhone in the AI ​​era

Today, Ai Pin finally debuts.

This product, which was selected as the "2023 Invention of the Year" by Time before it was officially released, comes from Humane, a startup company with a high concentration of former Apple employees. Among the company's more than 200 employees, hundreds of them are former Apple employees over the past few years.

Its founders are Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, who have worked at Apple for many years. Chaudhri was one of the original team members who designed the original iPhone and led Apple's interactive team for many years. The third employee and CTO is also Patrick Gates, who was responsible for iCloud, iMessage and FaceTime businesses.

▲"Husband and wife team" Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno

Moreover, Humane’s largest shareholder is Sam Altman, the father of ChatGPT.

Humane has raised $230 million in funding over the past few years from investors including Microsoft, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, LG, Volvo and Qualcomm's venture capital arm, in addition to Sam Altman.

Some people think it will liberate us from the screen, while others think it is more like an "AI toy."

Before going further, let’s take a look at its “real face”.

Ai Pin: an AI assistant that you can carry with you everywhere

Ai Pin consists of a body and an external battery, both of which are magnetically fixed to the user's clothes.

The 34g heavy body is equipped with a Snapdragon processor (the specific model is not specified), a 13-megapixel camera, a laser projector, a microphone and a speaker. The battery itself weighs approximately 20g.

▲ As a wearable device based on clothing, Ai Pin has colorful protective cases for purchase and matching

Ai Pin is equipped with a special charging base, and it can also be charged in a charging case together with an external battery and taken away.

To wake up Ai Pin, you only need to tap it to start a conversation.

This also means that Ai Pin does not need to listen to the environment and wait for the wake-up word like a smart speaker, reducing privacy risks.

At the same time, when Ai Pin is recording or recording, a light called "Trust Light" will light up to inform everyone that the device is running.

Another experience that is different from smart speakers is that when you talk to Ai Pin, you don't have to give instructions to "open XX application" and then "do XX things".

Because, there is no app at all.

We don't make apps. Humane OS runs Ai Experience.

The system can understand what you need and then select the appropriate AI for the moment.

For example, if you want to listen to a song, just ask a specific song to be played.

You can also ask for something more complex, such as: "Play a song written by Prince but not sung by him." Or "Play a song from a famous science fiction movie."

Don’t like the song choice?

Stretch out your palm in front of the Ai Pin, and the song name and control interface will be projected by laser.

Move your palm left and right up and down to "select" the button; pinch with your thumb and index finger to "confirm"; make a fist to return to the "home page".

Returning to more basic communication capabilities, Ai Pin demonstrates the conversational benefits of generative AI that we are increasingly familiar with.

Just like voice assistants such as Siri, you can just tap the Ai Pin and ask it to send you a message.

In the demonstration, Imran Chaudhri first asked Ai Pin to text him "Tell Andrew I will be there later."

Not surprisingly, the AI ​​assistant repeated what he wanted to say and asked him to confirm. At this time, Chaudhri then made a request:

Make me sound more excited.

AI replied:

The text message you sent to Andrew is: "I'll be there later, looking forward to it!" Can you send it? Ai Pin, which incorporates AI such as GPT, can also become a user's personal messaging assistant, helping users sort out information from different channels such as emails and text messages and summarize the key points. Just say "Catch me up." one time.)"

Yanir asked if you want to eat Hook Fish with Sam this week.

Michelle sent over some notes about today’s design sync session.

Andie and Adam are on their way.

Or it can find specific content from all this information, saving users from searching for content in numerous dialog boxes or emails.

Another language advantage of the large model was also shown in the demonstration – translation and speech simulation.

When Chaudhri's colleague Yanir spoke Spanish to him, Ai Pin automatically translated what Yanir said into English and spoke it.

Then when Chaudhri answered Yanir in English, Ai Pin translated the English into Spanish and said it in Chaudhri's voice.

In addition to "listening", Ai Pin can also "see".

Using computer vision, Ai Pin can identify food and determine its nutritional content.

Chaudhri first set up a personal nutritional intake plan on AI, and then directly asked Ai Pin with a handful of almonds:

– How much protein is this?

– These almonds have 15g of protein.

– I'm ready to eat it.

— enjoy it.

Next, Chaudhri asked him how much protein he had consumed today. Ai Pin replied that he had consumed 22g of protein.

This means that Ai Pin is continuously recording the food eaten by Chaudhri. The conversation between the user and Ai Pin is continuous and "memory", and the background of the event does not need to be repeated every time.

How does Ai Pin know what it should do or what standards it should use to advise users?

According to the demonstration, Ai Pin users can manage all their information on a website called – taken pictures (double-click Ai Pin to take photos), videos and notes (notes), contact information, etc.

The content on this website will become the basic information for customizing personal AI. Users can also tell the AI ​​more information by adding notes.

For example, Chaudhri adds a note that Ken likes to eat sushi. So when he asked the AI ​​to recommend a restaurant for Ken to eat, the AI ​​would search for restaurants with sushi.

Finally, coming to pricing, Ai Pin itself is priced at US$699 (approximately RMB 5,090) and must be used in conjunction with the US$24/month Humane subscription service.

The subscription service includes a new phone number, data traffic, phone text messages, unlimited use of OpenAI's GPT, Tidal music streaming and Humane cloud data storage and other services.

Ai Pin will officially start pre-sale on November 16, and shipments are expected to begin in early 2024.

The battle to build the “iPhone in the AI ​​era” has begun.

Explore what AI “looks like”, everything is just the beginning

This might help me get over my guilt about having worked on the iPhone.

José Benitez Cong said .

Cong has worked at Apple for many years, and his joining Humane feels somewhat like redemption. He feels sad about the mobile phone addiction problem caused by the iPhone, saying that even his own one-year-old child imitates the action of swiping the screen.

Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno's motivation for starting their business was also to break the "screen" that blocks people. In their view, smart glasses and AR headsets still have similar problems:

We want more knowledge, more information. We just want to get it in a way that allows us to stay in the present moment.

▲ Meta also recently released new smart glasses

Most of us would probably agree that we need to rethink our relationship with our smartphones. However, what this new relationship should look like is unknown.

In addition to eliminating the screen that most attracts our inertial attention, Ai Pin also changes our relationship with applications/information from "being pushed" to "extracting".

Compared with new messages that constantly appear on the screen, Ai Pin provides users with the option of letting AI help you summarize the information "you need to know" only when the user wants to.

Of course, the premise is that you have to let go of your FOMO.

▲ For a moment, I wonder if the Ai Pin’s projection is so “thick” to reduce people’s attraction to the device.

Ai Pin has its innovations, but it’s not that easy to accept.

As a first-generation product, the Ai Pin’s functionality is obviously still quite limited. Even the founder of Humane still can’t completely use mobile phones – “But the way we use mobile phones has changed.”

The cost of investing $699 + $24/month is basically buying a new experience.

At the same time, to experience the convenience of AI to the highest degree, users also need to have enough trust to open most of their private information to Humane, and even give Humane some of the right to filter the information they understand.

Humane also stated that user data will not be used to train AI.

There are also the most basic doubts about voice interaction.

It's one thing to talk to a smart speaker or Siri at home, but having a conversation in public can be a bit nerve-wracking (especially for someone who once had to make a phone call on the Guangzhou subway during the morning rush hour with an Apple Watch ).

Humane explains that Ai Pin’s “personic” speakers are specially designed to provide a private experience in quiet mode:

People use it in the office too and none of us can hear it.

All this will have to wait until more people experience the product.

It's up to the customer to decide.

Maybe it’s all too much, or people think “this works better than my phone.”

Even Humane's majority shareholder Sam Altman feels like nothing is guaranteed to succeed. In his view , many technology products that seemed certain to succeed ended up failing and being sold online.

This may be why, in addition to supporting Humane, Sam Altman also invested in another AI company, Rewind AI (which will launch an AI necklace that records what users hear and say at any time), and extended an olive branch to former Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive to discuss the creation of "The iPhone of AI".


Not to mention that many companies that already have mature hardware products are also exploring ways to integrate AI.

Yesterday, it was revealed that Apple is using a large model to "completely transform Siri into the ultimate virtual assistant."

Brands such as Huawei, vivo, OPPO, and Xiaomi have all announced the integration of large models into the system .

Using mobile phones or smart wearable devices that are more familiar to users to host AI will at least lower the threshold for getting started and accepting it.

The race to usher in a new era of consumer electronics has just begun, and we can’t wait to see more different possibilities.

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