AI Pin reviews are in

Pretty devastating but not surprising review of Humane’s AI Pin by David Pierce at The Verge. It wraps up with some hope that this can be the first step:

I hope Humane keeps going. I hope it builds in this basic functionality and figures out how to do more of it locally on the device without killing the battery. I hope it gets faster and more reliable. I hope Humane decides to make a watch, or smart glasses, or something more deliberately designed to be held in your hand.

Brian Chen at The New York Times was a little more positive, but still pointed out the many shortcomings:

I liked the chic aesthetic and concept of the pin. It was occasionally helpful, like when it suggested items to pack for my recent trip to Hawaii. But as I wore it for two weeks, it presented glaring flaws.

Ken Kocienda has a good blog post about working on the AI Pin, how no tech product is without trade-offs, and what things might be like in the future:

I think that LLMs are an advance on par with CPUs. Decades ago, the development of the first CPUs inspired people to make operating systems and programming models and, eventually, personal computers that allowed people to take advantage of the technology without being technologists themselves. We are at a similar moment now with LLMs, and the rate of change in Ai is far beyond what we saw decades ago with PCs. We built the Ai Pin with this historical perspective in mind.

There are interesting ideas here but it feels like NewtonOS 1.0 — just a little ahead of its time. If Human has the money to iterate, it could be something. My unsolicited advice: drastically simplify, scrap the laser projection, and focus on speed. A smaller, cheaper, AI “button” that was nothing more than ChatGPT available everywhere would be really fun to use.

I’m still excited about receiving my Rabbit R1, too. I was late in the pre-order queue, so likely won’t know what the device is like until much later this year. This is the time to experiment, and I don’t think companies like Humane or Rabbit should be judged too harshly on their first attempt. We’ll see where this goes.

Manton Reece @manton