Humane’s new wearable AI demo is wild – and we’ve got a lot of questions

Buzz has been building around the secretive tech startup Humane for over a year, and now the company is finally offering a glimpse into what it’s built. At TED last month, Imran Chaudhri, co-founder of Humane, gave a demonstration of the AI-powered wearable the company is building as a replacement for smartphones. Parts of the video were 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 shirt pocket, with a camera, projector and speaker on top. During 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 spent more than two decades working on design at Apple, presented the device as a salve for a world full of screens. “Some believe AR/VR goggles like these are the answer,” he said, an image of VR headsets behind him. He argued that those devices – such as smartphones – “create an extra 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 works on its own. “You don’t need a smartphone or other device to pair with it,” he said.

It’s an impressive demo and a good idea. But it leaves a lot 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 say in the coming months. We look forward to learning more – and hopefully getting many more answers.

Leave a Comment