One Month After Launch, AI Pin Maker Humane Seeks a Billion Dollar Sale

One Month After Launch, AI Pin Maker Humane Seeks a Billion Dollar Sale

The $US700 Humane AI Pin didn’t have the best launch, mainly because reviewers got their hands on the pint-size wearable chatbot and realized a lot of features didn’t work as well as advertised. Now, the company that made the device, headed up by two ex-Apple developers, is reportedly looking to sell the company for somewhere close to $US1 billion.

According to anonymous sources who talked to Bloomberg, Humane is working with a financial advisor to sell the company. The asking price is between $US750 million and $US1 billion, though it’s reportedly still very early in selling.

Humane launched its AI Pin in April with promises that it would have quick and easy AI-based vision and voice capabilities. It would allow you to call and text friends, learn about your surroundings, and do more without ever having to scroll on your phone.

A PR representative for Humane did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company was previously valued at $US850 million (before the launch of the AI Pin), according to the site The Information. That’s thanks to quite a lot of outside investment from venture capitalists drawn in by the promise that the Pin would lead us to the post-smartphone future. It secured support from the likes of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

The company is headed up by Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, a married couple who previously worked at Apple and claimed they were partly behind features like “swipe to unlock.” The pair had worked on many prototypes over the last few years, but after the big AI boom in 2022, people started to notice that the AI pin had become more compact and, supposedly, more capable.

The device was supposed to be controllable via voice and had a laser interface that would project onto the user’s hand. Once reviewers started using AI Pin, they found it was very slow to respond, and its hologram controls were finicky and nearly invisible in direct sunlight.

As for the AI’s responsiveness, users noted it was prone to getting facts wrong or mistaking objects in its field of view before confidently lying about what it saw. Those who reviewed it for a long enough time also found it was prone to overheating and running out of juice rather quickly for something that was supposed to be worn all day.

Humane promised users it was working on updates into the summer that would add a connection with calendars, timers, and clocks, all of which didn’t ship with the device to start. The company also promised some far-future features like visual shopping, where users could put items in their digital shopping carts just by seeing them in the world. Most recently, Humane added OpenAI’s GPT-4o to the current CosmoOS.

But better LLMs don’t necessarily defeat all the problems with the Pin, which comes down to pricing. Already, $US700 is a big asking price, considering a quality phone already goes for that much. Then, a data plan costs an extra $US24 a month.

Fellow AI device maker Rabbit came out with its R1, a $US200 AI companion that was even more widely panned than the Humane Pin. Gizmodo found the device lacked basic functionality and could not deliver on nearly all of its original promises. Eventually, somebody might figure out the use case for a true AI doohickey, though right now, it doesn’t seem like anybody has truly cracked the code.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.