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Humane, the Company behind ‘Flop’ $700 AI Pin, Is Now Looking for a Buyer

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Humane, the Company behind ‘Flop’ $700 AI Pin, Is Now Looking for a Buyer

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  • After a horrendous performance of the Humane AI Pin, the company is now looking for a buyer.
  • It has already consulted a financial advisor and is looking for a price between $750 million and $1 billion.
  • Slow response times, poor battery life, and overheating were some of the many issues with the Humane AI Pin that was supposed to be a smartphone killer.

Humane, The Company Behind Flop AI Pin, Is Now Looking For A Buyer

Humane Inc., the company that launched the infamous AI-powered wearable device (called Humane AI Pin) just over a month ago, is now looking for a buyer, as it has decided to sell the entire company.

It has already partnered with a financial advisor and is apparently looking for a sale price of between $750 million and $1 billion.

What the Humane AI Pin Was Supposed to Do

Humane AI Pin was pitched as a future alternative to smartphones. It was supposed to allow us to use the device through voice- or gesture-based cues, and it even came with a laser-projected display that would pop up on the wearer’s arm to support the visuals.

The company spoke so highly of the product when it first launched, saying that it was a revolutionary AI assistant that can be pinned to people’s clothes and eliminate the need of a screen entirely.

Humane AI Pin on a green jacket

Now, I’ll happily admit that it did seem like a brilliant idea at the time. In fact, the idea is still a good one; it was actually the company’s poor execution that made the Humane AI Pin an epic fail, which led to disappointing sales and ultimately the sale of the entire company.

Everything Wrong with the Humane AI Pin

As people started getting their hands on the product, a lot of them complained of overheating issues and slow response times.

Poor performance wasn’t the only issue, though. It retailed at an eye-watering $700 (you can get a new-gen flagship smartphone at this price, by the way) and if that wasn’t enough, there was also a $24/month subscription for storage and whatnot.

Now, if an experimental product like this was priced at, say, $200-300 then there would be a fair chance that users saw it as a great first attempt and swallowed the price. But $700? For a square-shaped device that I’d prefer just shut up instead? It’d be fair to assume that even Apple fanboys looked at it and said, “No way I’m paying that much for this product.”

To top it all off, popular tech reviewer Marques Brownlee came out with his review of the Humane AI pin titled “The Worst Product I’ve Ever Reviewed.” Now, if you know anything about MKBHD and his influence on tech users, you’d have guessed that there was just no saving this awful product after that.

Let me quickly sum up everything wrong the Humane AI Pin:

  • It does not pair with your smartphone at all. This is perhaps because they wanted it to replace smartphones? Well, that’s certainly not happening, and what this incompatibility with smartphones did is make the product very difficult to use.
  • The device is often slow in responding to queries because it sends your questions to the cloud and then has to wait for a response from there. It doesn’t have a database of its own, which also means that it’s also affected by poor internet connections.
  • It can also be wrong sometimes, as AI is still known to hallucinate.
  • The battery life is incredibly bad. It’s to the point where you need to charge it multiple times a day. Marques pointed out that the battery only lasted two days when he hardly used it, and 4 hours when he actively used it.
  • Also, for some reason, it’s just always warm. In fact, sometimes it gets so warm that you need to pull it out to let it cool. This not only disrupts work but it’s also uncomfortable to wear a warm device all day long.
  • The device is made of aluminum, which makes it a little heavy. If you’ve seen the demo videos, you’d have noticed that the presenters wore heavy jackets—a marketing tactic to conceal a downside? On the other hand, though, when you wear it on regular clothes, such as a thin cotton t-shirt, you can literally feel the weight of the Pin sag your clothes.
  • You don’t get any apps with the device, either. No Uber, Spotify, Amazon, Gmail, or anything else.
  • Lastly, I hoped that an otherwise awful $700 smartphone replacement device would come with a fantastic camera at the very least. Nope. The photo and video quality is also very poor.

How Did the Company Respond to Negative Reviews?

Back then, the company seemed to have handled the criticism well. It said that it would be working on hardware and software updates to make the device faster and smarter.

“We have an ambitious roadmap with software improvements, new features, and additional partnerships.” – Bethany Bongiorno, CEO and Co-founder of Humane Inc.

This statement came right after the launch of the Pin, indicating that the company planned on making the product work. Furthermore, they even had plans to expand into different device formats in the future.

However, that’s all disappeared into thin air, at least for now, as the company looks forward to selling itself.

Investors keen on getting their money back? Disappointing and/or non-existent roadmap for the future? There could be a number of reasons for this decision.

Also, it’d be interesting to see if/when/how the company gets a buyer. Can a tech giant like Google, Apple, or Microsoft buy it and change the product upside down? Unlikely. As of now, though, I look forward to the final sale announcement.

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