Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Humane AI Pin review roundup: an undercooked flop that’s way ahead of its time

The Humane AI Pin is a fascinating little device for gadget fans. If you missed its reveal in November 2023, it’s a tiny wearable computer with a built-in AI assistant, camera, and a little projector that blasts its UI onto your hand. Unfortunately, it’s also pretty terrible, according to the internet’s first reviews, which have landed in the past few days.

It’s rare for tech reviews, from both traditional media and YouTubers, to be so unanimous in their criticism of a much-hyped product. “The worst product I’ve ever reviewed… for now” concluded Marques Brownlee. Ouch. Meanwhile, Engadget branded it “the solution to none of technology’s problems”, while The Verge simply said that the AI Pin was “not even close”.

Naturally, these scathing verdicts create some added fascination about a $699 device that also requires a $ 24-a-month subscription. Yet few of the reviews think the AI Pin is completely without merit. Many praise its hardware design, which is solid aluminum and clips to your chest thanks to a magnetic ‘battery booster’ that goes inside your clothing. On the few occasions that it did work seamlessly, it also gave reviewers a little glimpse of a refreshingly screen-less future.

A person wearing the Humane AI Pin on a camouflaged jacket

(Image credit: Humane)

But beyond the specific features – many of which don’t seem to work reliably enough yet – the most interesting thing about these Humane AI Pin reviews is their broad conclusions about AI gadgets. In short, our phones aren’t going anywhere for a long time, and, as Bloomberg’s review concluded, “the AI device revolution isn’t going to kill the smartphone”. We haven’t yet reviewed the Rabbit R1, but that will probably hold true for a while yet.  


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