Artificial intelligence software and hardware startup Humane has showcased the first live demo of its new AI device: a wearable tech that has a projected display with AI-powered features designed to replace smartphones.
Humane’s chairman and president Imran Chaudhri took to the stage during a TED Talk to reveal and demonstrate the device which the company describes as, “A small, lightweight, clothing-based wearable that can be worn in many different ways.
“It’s a new kind of wearable device and platform that’s built entirely from the ground up for artificial intelligence,” said Chaudhri. “And it’s completely standalone. You don’t need a smartphone or any other device to pair with it.”
Demonstrating the device
Thanks to the presentation, we now have some understanding of what the device can do and how it operates without a regular touchscreen interface. Chaudhri wore the AI device in his breast pocket and the video demonstration shows him tapping on the device with a wake word, followed by a series of simple commands.
“Imagine this: you’ve been in meetings all day and you just want a summary of what you’ve missed,” Chaudhri says right before tapping on the device and asking to be caught up. As a response, the device provided a summary of “emails, calendar invites, and messages.”
However, it’s unclear where the AI device is getting this information from, considering Chaudhri mentioned that the device doesn’t need a smartphone, so it’s safe to speculate that it is collecting this information from a cloud-based service.
Besides being able to provide spoken responses, the device can also display a screen on nearby surfaces. During the presentation, Chaudhri receives a phone call from his wife, Bethany Bongiorno, who is also CEO and co-founder of Humane. The device projects the call onto Chaudhri’s hand for him to see.
The camera angle makes it difficult to see how Chaudhri answers the call, and throughout the interaction, he doesn’t appear to directly interact with the screen projected on his hand, even though it displays buttons. However, he manages to hold the call as if he were using a phone on speakerphone.
“We believe AI presents a huge opportunity for us to redefine our relationship to technology and that it will enable personal mobile computing to become faster, more powerful and easier to use,” said Chaudhri in a post.
The device also has a camera that identifies objects in its surroundings. During the presentation, Chaudhri uses the camera to identify a chocolate bar and get advice on whether to eat it based on his dietary needs.
Chaudhri showcased the device’s translation features as his final demonstration where he presses a button on the device, speaks a sentence, and then waits as the AI device reads out the same sentence in French. However, the video does not explicitly show Chaudhri commanding the device to translate his words, so it remains unclear how to activate this function.
The Humane president adds, “The first Humane device will allow people to bring AI with them everywhere and we’re really looking forward to revealing more at our launch later this year.”