Humane is looking for a buyer after the AI Pin’s underwhelming debut

Roger Stringer Roger Stringer
May 24, 2024
4 min read

Chris Welch, for The Verge:

Humane, the startup behind the poorly-reviewed AI Pin wearable computer, is already hunting for a potential buyer for its business. That’s according to a report from Bloomberg, which says the company — led by former longtime Apple employees Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno — is “seeking a price of between $750 million and $1 billion.”

That might be a tough sell after the $699 AI Pin’s debut: the device has been widely panned for its slow responses and a user experience that falls well short of the always-on, wearable AI assistant concept that its founders promised in the run-up to the device’s release. The product was pitched at least partially as a way for people to be more present and reduce their ever-growing dependence on smartphones.

Humane developed its own operating system called CosmOS that runs on the AI Pin. It hooks into a network of AI models to fetch answers for voice queries and to analyze what the built-in camera is pointed at. For some interactions, the device beams out a laser “display” that is projected onto the wearer’s inner palm. A monthly subscription is required to keep the device active.


Humane was valued at $850 million by investors in 2023, but that was before its first-ever product was universally criticized by reviewers. There are some novel and clever ideas in there, but the AI Pin’s software is underbaked and too inconsistent, and the hardware has exhibited poor battery life and overheating issues. Humane has pledged to address some of those bugs with firmware updates. Just last week, it rolled out OpenAI’s GPT-4o model to further enhance the device’s smarts.

The list of potential buyers for Humane seems quite small considering the price that the startup is hoping to fetch. Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft are all making significant pushes into the AI realm — with large language models and generative AI becoming more prevalent by the day — but it’s unclear how much value Humane’s intellectual property would really bring to any of their ongoing efforts.

The news that Humane is seeking a buyer, is no surprise given the AI Pin's spectacular failure. The device was widely panned for its slow responses and a user experience that fell well short of the always-on, wearable AI assistant concept that its founders promised.

I have a feeling they'll sell for way, way less than the $230 million they’ve raised. They really don't have much to offer outside of a piece of hardware, they don't even own the AI that powers the AI Pin — that was provided by OpenAI's ChatGPT.

As for the AI Pin, the laser projector idea was a bust, and the battery life, at best, can be measured in hours.

And you might be thinking "maybe OpenAI would want to buy them?", but apparently that answer would be a gigantic "not interested in buying Humane", and to top it off, OpenAI is supposedly in talks with Jony Ive’s LoveFrom to design and build their own AI devices.

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