Humane’s new wearable AI demo is wild — and we have lots of questions


Buzz has been building around the secretive tech startup Humane for over a year, and now the company is finally offering a look at what it’s been building. At TED last month, Humane co-founder Imran Chaudhri gave a demonstration of the AI-powered wearable the company is building as a replacement for smartphones. Bits of the video leaked online after the event, but the full video is now available to watch.

The device appears to be a small black puck that slips into your breast pocket, with a camera, projector, and speaker sticking out the top. Throughout the 13-minute presentation, Chaudhri walks through a handful of use cases for Humane’s gadget:

Humane’s device in Imran Chaudhri’s pocket during the TED demo.
Image: TED

Chaudhri, who previously worked on design at Apple for more than two decades, pitched the device as a salve for a world covered in screens. “Some believe AR / VR glasses like these are the answer,” he said, an image of VR headsets behind him. He argued those devices — like smartphones — put “a further barrier between you and the world.”

Humane’s device, whatever it’s called, is designed to be more natural by eschewing the screen. The gadget operates on its own. “You don’t need a smartphone or any other device to pair with it,” he said.

It’s an impressive demo and a neat idea. But it leaves a ton of open questions, from how much of this demo is real to how this device can actually fit into our lives:

Chaudhri says Humane will have more to share in the “next few months.” We’re looking forward to learning more — and hopefully, getting a lot more answers.

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