This popular AI hardware received a lot of bad reviews from its first users, and Ai Pin turned the bright spots into its biggest flaws.

The first users of Ai Pin got their new toys.

Since its debut at MWC 2024 (Mobile World Congress), the Ai Pin, which is billed as the "iPhone of the AI ​​era", has finally been shipped. Foreign media who got it for the first time also experienced it with great enthusiasm and curiosity. This "wonderful" product.

Everyone has a highly unanimous evaluation of Ai Pin:

  • The device is well made and is worthy of being the work of a former Apple engineer;
  • It looks smaller than the one in the picture, is very convenient to wear, and has multiple modules to choose from;
  • Photo quality is good;
  • Real-time translation is very useful and the translation is quite accurate.

But if you want to know whether Ai Pin is worth buying, everyone will wake you up with the same voice: NO

Too crude and of little use. ——WIRED
The only thing I can really rely on the Ai Pin to do is tell me the time. ——The Verge

The interaction that should have been the highlight has become the biggest flaw

I have to admit that Humane (the parent company of Ai Pin) is trying to create a new world that subverts traditional human-computer interaction.

Whether it was last year's online conference or this year's MWC live demonstration, Ai Pin's four core interaction methods – "voice", "touch", "gesture" and "projection" – are really cool, and no one has dared to do this. Boldly and radically make such an attempt on a consumer-grade product.

Ai Pin did it, got the limelight, and had problems.

The most criticized thing is "gesture interaction". In the promotional video, gesture navigation is one of the most impressive functions. It works in conjunction with the projection function. Many media reported that they were attracted by this function when they first got it. , you can feel the information being held at your fingertips.

Gesture navigation should be very smart and needs to accurately identify the user's gestures. For example, the air gestures on the Huawei Mate series can see changes in movements such as turning up, turning down, and making fists.

Ai Pin works similarly to hand recognition, but it's a little too sensitive, even a little sensitive. The content projected by the device allows the hand to move only within a specific range. In addition, the distance between the screen options is very small. If the hand is slightly wider, it will be easy to skip the target option and click to the side.

If you want to be as skilled as the Humane staff showed on the scene, and even have a sense of strategizing, you need to master the amplitude and sense of proportion of the gestures, much like putting a table tennis ball on a racket to maintain balance without falling. You need to maintain balance. Also pay attention to the propriety of your movements.

Engadget responded that even if you are used to this kind of "micro-manipulation" and can easily hit wherever you point, shaking your palm back and forth will cause the Ai Pin to shake back and forth, and the laser projection will also swing with it.

On average, it takes about five seconds to enter a four-digit pin code to unlock your device.

You can form interactive muscle memory through training, but the projected content will bring you another trouble: the laser ink screen, the level is a bit low.

The laser ink display is another groundbreaking technology from Humane. It can project green light into the user's palm, and the basis of gesture interaction is also derived from this.

Its advantage is that it can interact with hands, but the most troublesome thing is that it can only interact with hands. The laser can only be projected on the palm, and the display content cannot be projected onto the table or wall.

Scrolling through Instagram while holding your phone can be tiring, but at least you can put it down on your desk and keep browsing.

But on the Ai Pin, if your arm isn't raised, you can't see anything.

The second flaw of the laser ink screen is that the projection distance is fixed. The user must keep the body and the palm of the hand relatively still as much as possible, and try the position of the palm many times to obtain the best projection effect. All of this will come back to you every time you wear it again.

Moreover, even if you can really solve the above problems "like a mountain" through training, how will you deal with the problem of too small and too little display content?

In fact, Ai Pin projects a relatively small canvas. According to actual measurements by Engadget reporters, about 7 lines of text can be seen at a time, and each line has about 1 to 3 words.

This means that when reading long text, users have to hold their hands up longer until the notification scrolls to the bottom.

What’s even more interesting is that this “smaller” projection screen is relative and was not mentioned in WIRED reporter Julian’s article because her hands are relatively large.

The last flaw of the projection screen appears in almost all review articles: it cannot be used in sunlight.

  • Laser projections are not bright enough to beat the sun. Prior to this review, the Ai Pin had only been publicly demonstrated in darker environments, such as the TED Talk stage and indoor conference booths, so how well the laser projection performed in direct sunlight was the biggest unanswered question. ——ZDNET
  • When you're in sunlight, the projector is essentially unreadable. –"Washington post"
  • Step outside and you'll have a hard time reading the faint projection. Even on a rainy day in New York, I could barely read the words on my hand. ”——Engadget
  • It's almost invisible unless you're in bright light. ”——The Verge

I don’t know what Humane’s product managers will think when they see these feedbacks. At least based on the current understanding of Ai Pin, it is most likely a “smart product” that is used more frequently outdoors. However, various reasons have made it unavailable. Dharma works outside the door.

In Ai Pin's promotion, screen removal is a core concept, but currently it seems that it is still in the "like going" stage – it belongs neither to the present nor the future.

The not-so-smart Ai Pin will make you a little stupid

Humane defines Ai Pin as people's "second brain", which achieves a smartphone-like experience through innovative interactions between hardware, people, and the surrounding environment.

However, the Ai Pin after mass production does not have the label of a real smart device, and even looks like a semi-finished product.

The Verge's David Pierce found that while the Ai Pin can use voice to make memos and create to-do items, it can't set alarms or timers, or add events to a calendar.

=The problem with so many voice assistants is that there isn’t much they can do, and Ai Pin can do even less.

What’s funny is that Ai Pin, which was supposed to show off its capabilities in object recognition, has failed in everyone’s hands.

WIRED reporter Julian Chokkattu said that the accuracy of Ai Pin needs to be considered: it incorrectly identified "high fructose corn syrup" as a sweetener banned by California, but among the four sweeteners banned by California last year, none The seed is high fructose corn syrup.

And the recognition of street scenes is often inconsistent with the facts. Although Ai Pin has a built-in GPS chip, there is often no response when asking it for nearby restaurant locations. Even if you stand in front of a landmark building and ask "Where is this?", it is likely to give the wrong answer.

Sometimes he even hallucinated. Inverse reporters used Ai Pin to describe the following scene:

Ai Pin’s answer is:

A man sits on a gray chair with a green broom on the table to the right. He was wearing a red, white and black plaid shirt, blue jeans and brown shoes. He looked down at the phone in his hand. There is a white piece of paper on the round table to his right. There is a gray iMac computer on a white table in the background. There are also two white chairs in the background.

There is no black on the man's shirt in the picture, and there is only a white chair in the background.

Response speed is another major deduction for Ai Pin. The response speed is crucial to whether AI can resonate with consumers. Many times, the "intelligence" in our minds often comes from quick questions and answers, so that it can reflect AI is omniscient and omniscient.

But for some reason, Ai Pin actually compromised on the response speed.

To be honest, the voice interaction enabled by Ai Pin has greatly shortened the process of people retrieving information: just touch the question with your finger and wait for the answer. This kind of "one-step" simple search is exactly what we want in the AI ​​era to be de-Appized and de-third-party. AIGC's chat box is both a Google search box, a search bar for Bilibili, and a Taobao search box. Picture entrance.

But even for questions like "What's the weather like today?" that don't even require LLM's participation, Ai Pin makes you wait for more than 6 seconds.

These problems may come from large model illusion, server problems, etc. Although they will be improved in the future, for a product that wants to be sold to the public, this will only become a reason for users not to pay for it, and will also make artificial intelligence once again ridiculed as "artificial imbecility" ”.

You should only buy the current product, not the future product they promise.

Ai Pin's lack of intelligence, coupled with its advanced interaction methods, will also make it a "stupid conspicuous bag" when you use it outdoors.

When a social message is sent, you need to place your hands in the right position, wave your palms to navigate the page, and even make some gestures similar to mudra to select.

When you want to know information about your destination, you need to speak clearly to the crowd. If the network is not good or the equipment fails, you have to repeat it several times.

Humane is eager to bring future devices to the present early through Ai Pin, but they have failed to successfully integrate the intelligent experience of previous products into them. Instead, they have messed up the present.

Return to the Google dead end

It's ironic to buy a $699 device with phone-like functionality and pay $24 per month for a user-friendly subscription plan with the goal of using your phone less.

Generally speaking, the current feeling of Ai Pin is: spend money and suffer.

The Verge rated Ai Pin 4/10, Engadget rated it 5/10, and CNET didn't even call their review a "review" because they felt Ai Pin wasn't done yet.

It has almost all the feature phones without spending extra money; it also has experience phones that it doesn’t have, and they are better to use.

So offsetting each other, I spent $699 (approximately RMB 5,058) to buy an ink screen that is invisible in the sun, an interactive device that is strict on gestures, and a smart screen recognition software that is unresponsive. Hot breast warmers are not a good deal.

The above are still the "technical problems" encountered without mentioning the privacy and security disputes of Ai Pin. You know, after more than 10 years of development, smartphones are still challenged by these topics today.

Therefore, it may still take months or even years before Ai Pin can truly become the "ambient computing wearable device" that Humane hopes for. The current AI Pin is "just a topic at a party."

In fact, Humane has a "king-shattering" start:

  • Ai Pin’s market debut coincides with the intersection of the trough of the smartphone craze and the peak of the artificial intelligence craze;
  • The company’s founders, Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri, previously worked at Apple, and Chaudhri also participated in the design of the original iPhone;
  • The company’s largest shareholder is Sam Altman, the father of ChatGPT;
  • This product was selected as the "Invention of the Year 2023" by Time before it was officially released.

Ai Pin has gathered almost all the elements for success. It has caught up with the trend of the times and has been favored by investors. It has the world's top designers and advanced product concepts. But when this "genius player" officially came to us Why did it get so bad again?

At the 2012 Google I/O conference, Google Glass was officially released.

Upon its launch, Google Glass was defined as a product that will influence the direction of technology in the next ten years.

It can display weather, messages, phone calls and other information, and can be used to take photos, record videos, navigate, or invoke Google Assistant to answer your questions.

Three years later, Google Glass was officially discontinued.

Problems such as device privacy concerns, high prices, and limitations in actual use prevented Google Glass from being widely popularized. This dream in the technology circle eventually became a pipe dream.

When people come out of their excitement and re-examine this "genius boy" rationally, it is not difficult to find that any smartphone that is several times cheaper than him can fully perform its functions. In contrast, Google Glass's Flaws also appeared instantly: few functions, weak performance, exaggerated styling, and poor battery life.

Ai Pin meets all the above factors, and Humane just went down the same dead end as Google.

According to foreign media reports afterwards, the Google

We don’t know if Humane knows all this, but they have placed Ai Pin on a very high level since birth.

The concept is too advanced. It wants to liberate people from the screen and return to the current life. It insists on canceling local apps, regardless of how much people need these software today, and even releases the rhetoric of "making an iPhone in the AI ​​era".

However, when people get the Ai Pin, it is not difficult to find that these titles and definitions have a lot of "thunder", but the "raindrops" given to the user experience are very small. Compared with Google Glass, which almost started the 10-year technology trend, There is no difference.

However, compared to Google Glass, which has become history, Ai Pin still has hope.

It has a pleasing appearance and inherits the excellent genes of Apple design. With the blessing of large models, practical functions such as real-time translation have received good reviews. More importantly, the Humane team has a relatively clear positioning of its own products.

After reading the full article, you may notice a detail. The "i" of Ai Pin is not capitalized. Founder Bongiorno explained, "This shows that we are in the early stages of artificial intelligence. Obviously, Ai Pin still has a long way to go."

Maybe one day in the future, Ai Pin will be redefined, but after reading the feedback from the first users, I feel that this future is still far away.

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