An AI Assistant That Fits on Your Shirt: What is the Humane AI Pin?

what is an ai pin

The Humane AI pin is a new wearable gadget that aims to serve as an artificial intelligence-powered personal assistant. 

Developed by former Apple engineers Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, this device packs advanced AI capabilities into a tiny package in an effort to make technology feel more human.

But what exactly is this curious high-tech pin, how does it work, and does it really have what it takes to replace smartphones? 

Here’s a breakdown of everything we know so far about the Humane AI pin.

The Basics: A Tiny AI-Powered Computer

At its core, the Humane AI pin is a very small but powerful computer. The main components include:

  • A Qualcomm Snapdragon processor for fast performance, crucial for AI
  • An RGB camera, depth sensor, motion sensors, and microphone to take in visual/audio information
  • A speaker to respond with audio feedback
  • A battery and wireless charging capabilities so it can stay powered throughout the day
  • Cellular connectivity via T-Mobile’s network so it can make calls, send texts, and access data without needing to pair to a phone

This compact device runs software called Humane OS. It uses AI to understand requests, route queries to the appropriate AI platforms, and deliver relevant information and functionality quickly, without the need for downloaded apps.

So in simple terms, it’s a voice-controlled AI assistant packed into a pocket-sized computer that clips onto your clothing. But it aspires to be more than just another Siri or Alexa.

Designed to Feel More “Humane”

As the name suggests, Humane aims to create technology that makes people’s lives genuinely better by fixing an “imbalance” we have with our devices today.

The goal is for the AI pin to:

  • Fade into the background when not in use
  • Understand the  context and needs to provide helpful information proactively
  • Enable more focus on the real world instead of screens

It uses a voice-first interface as well as unique input methods like wrist gestures, an interactive light projection, and clever wireless charging techniques to achieve a more invisible, seamless experience. The hope is this wearable AI feels intuitive and responsive.

Over time, machine learning allows it to build a personalized profile to serve as an “ever-evolving memory” that knows your preferences and needs to continue improving its assistance.

Key Features: An AI Assistant That’s Always With You

So what can this little wearable gadget actually do for you?

Information and Answers

With web access and AI knowledge platforms, it can respond to questions on a wide variety of topics by searching the internet or accessing databases. Ask it anything from sports scores to recipe ingredients to trivia.

Language Translation

The AI pin provides real-time translation, detecting languages automatically. It can interpret speech from another language and reply in that language using your own voice and inflection.


You can send hands-free text messages and make phone calls with no smartphone required. The assistant can even rewrite messages for you in different tones of voice if desired.


Tell it to “catch you up” and the AI will digest recent emails, messages, appointments, and notifications to summarize key details so you don’t miss anything important.

Vision abilities

The camera empowers it to recognize objects, products, food items, and written text. It can use this visual input to provide nutritional information, identify items and prices for online shopping, offer recipe ideas, and more.


It remembers and logs details like meals, medications, health data, purchases, schedule items, bookmarks, and notes. You can access these via a web portal for tracking and managing information.

An Interactive User Interface

Without a screen, the Humane AI pin’s interface relies on audio, motion gestures, and a unique projector that displays interface elements onto your palm. 

Key options for controlling the device include:

Input MethodWhat You Can Do
VoiceMake requests, ask questions, dictate messages
Projector + gesturesTilt hand to scroll, close fingers to select items
Tap fingersSelect interface options
Rotate hand positionView different UI widgets like clock or weather updates

The projector beam displays customizable widgets, allowing you to access things like the time, weather, reminders, or suggestions of nearby places to visit without needing to ask out loud.

The Hardware: Tiny Yet Packed With Technology

Engineers managed to cram all this functionality into a gadget not much larger than a shirt button, with a weight of just 13 grams.

Key hardware elements that make this possible:

  • Custom silicon chips – Purpose-built AI and privacy protection chips deliver advanced capabilities without taking up much space
  • Efficient components – State-of-the-art yet space-saving designs for the battery, camera, sensors, speaker, and other parts
  • Magnetic accessories – The pin attaches to clothing via magnetic accessories like clips, latches, and shields

A “Perpetual” Charging System

The small internal battery would quickly deplete with such an advanced device. So the Humane AI pin employs a unique charging approach.

It ships with a booster – a battery pack magnetically attached to an accessory clip. This wirelessly charges the pin’s battery throughout the day. If the booster runs low, you can hot-swap it out for a replacement by keeping charged boosters in your pocket or bag.

So as long as you have charged boosters available, you can keep the pin powered perpetually without needing to take it off.

Privacy Protection

With a camera and microphone on at all times, privacy risks are a valid concern. Humane aims to bake protection deep into the product.

  • Hardware indicators light up whenever sensors are active so users know when the device is listening or watching
  • Tamper detection shuts the gadget down if physically hacked until unlocked by Humane
  • No always-on microphone constantly streaming audio to the cloud
  • OS is designed to only gather essential data, states Humane

However, legal experts argue AI assistants still pose privacy issues regardless of protections. Users will need to decide if the risks outweigh the benefits.

What Does This Futuristic Assistant Cost?

The Humane AI bundle – which includes the pin, accessories, warranty, storage, support services, and a T-Mobile line – starts at $699.

You can purchase additional battery boosters to keep the pin perpetually powered. Accessory packs with clips, latches, and color shields for decoration start at $39.

After purchase, an ongoing subscription ties all the services together at $24 per month.

So this AI assistant carries a hefty premium price tag compared to smartphones providing similar capabilities on paper. Whether the radically different approach justifies the high cost will come down to real-world testing and individual preferences.

Could This Little Device Really Replace Smartphones?

Humane believes their AI pinpoints a future beyond phones and screens – one where technology fades comfortably into the background. And plenty of people yearn for less distraction from their devices.

But attempting to shoehorn so much functionality into a tiny wearable form factor comes with profound compromises. Voice control poses natural limitations for common smartphone tasks. 

The projection screen seems clumsy compared to a 6-inch touch display. The lack of apps could restrict possibilities. And the opportunity for distracting notifications still exists.

For now, the Humane AI pin appears best suited for minimalists happy to embrace limitations in return for fewer digital temptations. It could certainly squeeze some usefulness from AI in unique ways. 

But for most smartphone users expecting a fully capable “replacement,” this first-generation product would likely disappoint. The technology holds promise, yet still proves too unrefined to rival mobile devices meeting countless needs for billions daily.

The core vision behind Humane OS remains compelling – an ambient assistant predicting needs to provide helpful suggestions proactively. 

And the foundations look promising even if initial capabilities seem limited. With exponential AI advances, could a screenless wearable one day deliver far more value than phones can?

Humane thinks so. Yet they have significant work ahead to convince consumers to embrace such a dramatic shift. For now, see the AI pin as an auxiliary gadget rather than a phone replacement, albeit one packed with sci-fi flair.

This daring device certainly pushes boundaries on how we interact with technology. We’ll watch with curiosity whether its provocative ideas and unconventional interface successfully click with a wider audience over time as the software matures. 

Expect vigorous debate around the pros, cons, and future possibilities as early adopters put this founders’ vision for the future to the test.

Take a look at the official video presentation from the founders –

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Saiful Emon

Emon is a tech enthusiast who loves to explore and write about the latest gadgets and innovations. Now he uses his passion and knowledge to cover topics like artificial intelligence, gaming, wearables, and the potential of computers. When he is not writing, he enjoys playing video games, watching sci-fi movies, and discovering new places.