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

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

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.

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