Humane has been teasing its mysterious project for years, with over $230 million in funding and promises of an iPhone killer. Former Apple execs have been working on this unnamed device that was recently teased at a TED Talk event, revealing its design and features. The gadget is equipped with AI capabilities, a camera, a laser projector, and phone-calling support, but is it enough to compete with the iPhone?
Although we do not have all the information about the Humane gadget, it may not be the device to get excited about just yet. However, it could be that the entire point of Humane’s technology is to release a device that looks nothing like the iPhone, and ultimately, “kill” the iPhone.
The touchscreen is the current communication paradigm, and Humane’s gadget does not have one. Interestingly, Apple’s future AR glasses aim to replace the iPhone, but without a touchscreen interface. Both companies’ devices will still have some sort of screen interface, with Humane’s projector beaming light on nearby surfaces such as the palm of your hand, becoming an improvised screen with buttons to answer a phone call. One may ask, why would we need a user interface for answering calls when AI can do that for us?
The Humane device, reminiscent of a Star Trek communicator, is designed to be worn on the chest with two separate components. The visible element includes a laser, camera, and speaker, while the component inside the jacket pocket may contain the device’s battery and processing power. However, to use the Humane device, users will require clothing with a specific set of skills, such as front pockets.
One impressive feature of the wearable is the camera that can take pictures and videos. During the onstage demo, Humane co-founder Imran Chaudhri showcased how the personal AI knows the user’s medical conditions and dietary restrictions, such as an inability to eat certain types of food.
Moreover, Chaudhry demonstrated the device’s AI capabilities, showcasing its ability to translate his voice into French in real time. According to Chaudhri, the Humane device features a personal AI that emits “Her” vibes.
It is indeed remarkable that the AI spoke French for the exec in Chaudhri’s own voice, which suggests that the device is equipped with a high-quality speech synthesis system. However, as you pointed out, using a speaker for voice calls may raise privacy concerns, especially in public places where others could overhear the conversation.
To address this issue, the Humane wearable may indeed connect to wireless earphones, as you speculate, which would allow for more private conversations. Alternatively, the device could also use advanced noise-cancellation technologies to minimize sound leakage and make conversations more difficult to eavesdrop on.
Overall, it’s clear that privacy is an important consideration for the Humane Star Trek-like communicator, and the company will likely take steps to ensure that users’ conversations remain as private as possible.
It seems that the Humane gadget is missing some key features that are commonly found in mobile computing devices, such as web browsing and apps with a visual user interface. It is unclear whether the company plans to address these features in greater detail or if the device is simply meant to be used as a companion to an iPhone.
Furthermore, there is currently no information available regarding the price or release date of the device. The author of this statement does not see themselves replacing their iPhone with the Humane communicator or using it as a companion device.
The way that Humane has chosen to reveal the gadget is also puzzling, as they have not held a press event to showcase its capabilities, but rather leaked screenshots and clips from a TED Talk that has yet to be released online.