Humane AI Pin review roundup — this is a disaster

Humane Ai Pin
(Image credit: Humane)

The Humane AI Pin garnered a ton of attention in March when it raised $100 million in funding, in part because of its exciting promise: a wearable device designed to tap the power of AI to help us live our lives better, and look at our phones less. 

We even got an intriguing early look at the Humane Ai Pin during Humane co-founder Imran Chaudhri’s TED Talk in April of 2023. 

And then its release date got delayed to March of this year, which was delayed again to April. Humane also laid off some of its workforce in January.

Now the Humane AI Pin is finally launching, and reviewers from around the web are sharing their thoughts. Is it worth the $700 purchase price plus the $24/month subscription? 

Based on what we've seen so far it sounds like the early verdict for most reviewers is no. But is it a dumpster fire, as Futurism claims? Read on to hear what early reviews have to say.

Wired

Humane Ai Pin

(Image credit: Humane)

Rating: 4/10

Julian Chokkatu of Wired wore the AI Pin and said that he’s interested in the potential of the Pin, but it’s nowhere near replacing his phone.

The good: "There are some positives! I have made phone calls with the AI Pin—the person on the other end said I didn't sound great—but it was nice not having to hold a phone up to my face. (See also: wireless earbuds.)"

The bad: "One time, after asking the Ai Pin three questions, the Pin alerted me that it was too hot and needed to cool down. Indeed, the touchpad and the sides of the device were uncomfortably hot. (I touched the Ai Pin that Cherlynn Low was testing and it felt shockingly hot.)"

The Verge

Rating: 4/10

At the Verge, David Pierce decried many of the AI Pin’s missteps and described it as a proof-of-concept for a future where the AI Pin is a killer device. Today, it is not that.

The good: "The single coolest thing I’ve been able to do with the AI Pin is something I’ve done a few times now. I stand in front of a store or restaurant, press and hold on the touchpad, and say, “Look at this restaurant and tell me if it has good reviews.” The AI Pin snaps a photo with its camera, pings some image recognition models, figures out what I’m looking at, scours the web for reviews, and returns it back. Tacombi has great reviews, it might say. People really like the tacos and the friendly staff."

The bad: "AI Pin can’t set an alarm or a timer. It can’t add things to your calendar, either, or tell you what’s already there. You can create notes and lists — which appear in the Humane Center web app that is also where you connect the device to your contacts and review your uploaded photos — but if you try to add something to the list later, it’ll almost always fail for some reason. The problem with so many voice assistants is that they can’t do much — and the AI Pin can do even less."

Washington Post

Humane AI Pin

(Image credit: Future)

Chris Velazco at the Washington Post was kinder to the AI Pin in his review but in the end, it just made him reevaluate how he uses his phone.

The good: "Humane is right about one thing: Interacting with a device like this feels surprisingly natural, to the point where I sometimes find myself reaching for the Pin to ask a question even when I’m not wearing it."

The bad: "But using the Pin can get frustrating, fast. Take those tilt and pinch gestures: They’re easy to understand, but hard to master. Even after two weeks, I still find myself struggling to select just the right menu options.

Here’s another catch: The projector is basically unreadable when you’re in the sun. Summer’s just around the corner, and it’s sure to offer plenty of warm days I don’t want my phone to get in the way of, but the Pin is much less useful in broad daylight."

Endgadget

Rating: 50/100

Endgadget’s Cherlynn Low questioned who the device was for and said that the AI Pin made the future feel far away. 

The good: "One singular thing that the AI Pin actually manages to do competently is act as an interpreter. I tried talking to myself in English and Mandarin, and was frankly impressed with not only the accuracy of the translation and general vocal expressiveness, but also at how fast responses came through."

The bad: "Not only is the Humane AI Pin slow, finicky and barely even smart, using it made me look pretty dumb. In a few days of testing, I went from being excited to show it off to my friends to not having any reason to wear it. …Maybe in time, the AI Pin will be worth revisiting, but it’s hard to imagine why anyone would need a screenless AI wearable when so many devices exist today that you can use to talk to an assistant."

Inverse

Humane AI Pin

(Image credit: Future)

Inverse’s Raymond Wong is perhaps the most optimistic about the Ai Pin. Noting that this is Version 1 and hopeful that a version 2 and 3 get the Ai Pin to place it needs to be. 

The good: "What use case does it have and what does it do that you can’t already do with a phone or a smartwatch? The point of the first-gen Ai Pin isn’t to replace your smartphone, so much as it is to offer an alternative form factor to allow you to compute and have a different relationship with technology. Apps are the primary way to connect with people and services, but they do not need to be the only way to access information. AI is bringing diversity to computing again."

The bad: "The early messaging for the AI Pin seemed to tout it as a smartphone replacement. Humane walked that back, either because of vocal criticism or, as I’ve found out for myself, because the hardware and AI just aren’t able to do a lot of essential phone things either as reliably, faster, better, or even at all."


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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.