Established in 2017, Humane is developing a platform primarily involved in the creation and sale of consumer hardware, software, and services. The company works to create consumer products that benefit people by creating technology that puts people first. To do this, Humane is focused on developing products that offer an intuitive, natural feel, and that offer artificial intelligence (AI) where people need it. The company is headquartered in San Francisco.
The two cofounders are a husband-and-wife team. Bongiorno, the company's CEO, worked as the software engineering director at Apple. Chaudhri, the company’s chairman and president, also worked at Apple for twenty years as a former director of design on products like the iPhone, the iPad, and the Mac.
Chase Coleman, a partner at Tiger Global, said in a statement:
“The caliber of individuals working at Humane is incredibly impressive. These are people who have built and shipped transformative products to billions of people around the world. What they are building is groundbreaking with the potential to become a standard for computing going forward.”
Imran Chaudhri worked at Apple from 1995 to 2016 and has different patents for user interface inventions. One of them includes the “slide to unlock” patent. The Humane chairman is also responsible for iPhone’s home screen design, alongside other macOS and iOS conventions. Bethany Bongiorno worked at Apple from 2008 to 2016 and led software development for the iPhone, iPad, and the Mac. They both attended WWDC 2016 to demo novel features in Messages, and that marked a major public appearance during their time at the company. They left a few months later.
After the announcement of the establishment of their own technology company, Humane, they brought on former Apple employees. One of them includes Ken Kocienda, the creator of the iPhone’s touchscreen keyboard. Kocienda became the product architect of Humane in December 2020. Another is Gary Schulz, a part of Apple’s industrial design group from 2007 to 2019. Schulz joined Humane in August 2021 as the lead industrial designer. The company’s head of services, Jeremy Werner, supervised engineering for iCloud, Apple Pay, Home, and others.
Chaudhri and Bongiorno possess different patents credited to them from their time at Apple to the inception of Humane. As of 2022, Humane had not released any products or given any in-depth descriptions of the work it had been creating. The company's website carries an extensive list of patents. One patent is for a “wearable multimedia device and cloud computing platform with laser projection system” and another is for a “system and apparatus for fertility and hormonal cycle awareness.”
A patent published in 2020 portrays a “body-worn device” that “does not include a display, allowing the user to continue interacting with friends, family, and co-workers without being immersed in a display.” The major objective for the product is “minimal user interaction.” A user would don a “laser projection system” with the ability to change surfaces into displays that can be dismissed when they are no longer required.
According to the patent, the laser projection can label objects, provide text or instructions related to the objects, and provide an ephemeral user interface (e.g., a keyboard, numeric key pad, device controller) that allows the user to compose messages, control other devices, or simply share and discuss content with others.
The company’s product includes a camera, a 3D camera, and a depth sensor. The combination of the three components led to the identification of objects in the real world and the application of digital imagery to them. The product patent also portrays a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, a heart rate sensor, and a way to connect headphones.
In November 2023, Humane launched the company's first product: The AI Pin. The device is a wearable offered as a square device and a battery pack, which magnetically attach to the user's clothes or other surfaces. The AI Pin is initially sold for USD $700, while a $24 monthly fee gets a user access to the AI system, as well as data coverage and a phone number offered through T-Mobile's network in the United States.
The pin itself is a fairly simple device powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and controlled with a combination of voice control, a camera, gestures, and a small built-in projector. The pin also has a built-in camera capable of taking 13-megapixel photos or capturing video. The device uses an operating system, called Cosmos, which is designed to route a user's query to the right tool rather than asking the user to manage several apps. And the operating system connects to several AI models, with mentions including Microsoft and OpenAI, including a focus on using GPT-4.
The goal with Humane's AI Pin is to strip away all interface from technology. It has no home screen or lots of settings or accounts to manage. Rather, the concept behind the AI Pin is to talk or touch the pin, say what the individual wants it to do, and for the AI Pin to do it automatically. The features mentioned in the release of the AI Pin included voice-based messaging and calling, a "catch me up" feature to summarize an email inbox, and real-time translation. Otherwise, it offers features similar to an LLM-powered search engine, and Humane has noted plans to add navigation capabilities, shopping capabilities, and tools to allow developers to build their own features.
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