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Secretive startup previews AI-powered wearable projector (Update: Video of demo)

There's no information on when this pocketable wearable may be available.

Published onMay 9, 2023

Humane wearable 1
Zarif Ali
  • Humane cofounder Imran Chaudhri showed off a demo of a projector-based wearable while at a TED Talk.
  • The wearable is capable of sending and receiving calls, language translation, and more.
  • The wearable is a standalone product that doesn’t need to be paired with other devices.

Update, May 9, 2023 (2:13 PM ET): This article has been updated to include the full video of the TED Talk where Imran Chaudhri demos Humane’s projector-based wearable.

Original, April 21, 2023 (1:51 PM ET): You may have never heard of Humane, and there’s a good reason for that. Most of the company’s work is shrouded in mystery. But one of Humane’s cofounders just showed off an AI wearable that’s a lot like a wearable form of ChatGPT.

Humane is an AI startup founded by ex-Apple veterans Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno. As mentioned earlier, its work has stayed mostly in the shadows. But we got our first look at one of its in-development projects during a recent TED Talk.

During the TED Talk — not scheduled to be available until April 22 — Chaudhri reveals a device sitting in his jacket pocket to the audience. The device is an AI-powered wearable that doesn’t require a connection to other devices. In tweets provided by Inverse‘s Raymond Wong, we get a glimpse at what the gadget is capable of.

I obtained a video of @Humane ‘s AI-powered wearable projector in action (clipped from a video @zarifali9 sent me of the #TED2023 by @imranchaudhri)
This looks insaneee!
— Ray Wong (@raywongy) April 21, 2023

In the tweet above, we see the device has a projector that’s displaying on Chaudhri’s hand. Chaudhri uses the UI projected on his hand to call Bethany Bongiorno.

In addition to calling, the wearable is also capable of translating words into other languages. Chaudhri demonstrates this feature by tapping on the device, saying a few words, and then waiting for the device to respond. What we hear is an AI representation of Chaundri’s voice speaking in French.

The @Humane wearable doing English->French AI translation in your own voice… wow. (SOUND ON)
Video credit @ZarifAli9
Read the exclusive on the Humane wearable’s features:
— Ray Wong (@raywongy) April 21, 2023

According to Inverse‘s report, the wearable has a “catch me up” feature that can take information from your meetings and distill them down into quick bullet points. Something that ChatGPT and Bard can also do. Chaudhri also showed off a feature where he raised up a candy bar and asked the wearable “Can I eat this?” The device responded “A milky bar contains cocoa butter. Given your intolerance, you may want to avoid it.”

@humane‘s device helping you decide what you can and cannot eat based on knowing your preferences and dietary restrictions.
— Michael Mofina (@MichaelMofina) April 21, 2023

To provide a bit of perspective on what Humane is trying to do with this product, Chaudhri shared his vision.

What do we do with all these incredible [AI] developments? And how do we actually harness these to genuinely make our life better? If we get this right, AI will unlock a world of possibility. Today, I want to share with you what we think is a solution to that end. And it’s the first time we’re doing so openly. It’s a new kind of wearable device, that and platform that’s built entirely from the ground up for artificial intelligence. And it’s completely standalone. You don’t need a smartphone or any other device to pair with it. It interacts with the world the way you interact with the world, hearing what you hear, seeing what you see, while being privacy first, and safe, and completely fading into the background of your life.

It appears Humane’s goal is to move away from screens and this AI wearable could be the first step. But the TED Talk failed to answer some lingering questions. For example, how heavy is the wearable? Or could shining the projector into someone’s eyes cause harm?

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