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Meet the pin: an AI hardware that will change how you use computers

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Ai Pin, that was launched last week by a couple who formerly worked at Apple, Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri.

The Ai Pin. Image: Humane Twitter.

IN THE beginning, it was a machine that could fit in a room. It was followed by a machine that required a desk to operate and thereafter, only a hand was required.

Now, you might just need something to wear to have the same computing power that required a room many years ago.

This is the thought that crossed my mind as I was thinking about the significance of the product, Ai Pin, that was launched last week by a couple who formerly worked at Apple, Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri.

If the founders of Humane, the company behind the AI device, succeed in getting consumers to buy into their product, they would have pioneered a significant shift in the history of computing industry.

Before we get into the significance of the pin as a product, let’s outline its simple functions.

The wearable device will listen to your voice in order to carry out functions like making a call and providing answers to your questions.

It will learn from your behaviour and preferences to serve answers that are tailored for you.

The device will not require a glass surface to show you its answers. It will use a laser to project answers to the palm of your hand.

At the same time, it will use gestures to receive instructions. As for the significance of the device, books will be written about this moment.

The Ai Pin is the first artificial intelligence hardware product. It’s an answer to the highly sought-after means of enabling AI to have its own hardware.

In the Ai Pin, artificial intelligence has been productised. It will not be the last. In the next few years, we will probably see products that will marry AI with hardware.

It will be one of the few products that might liberate society from looking at screens.

It will usher a new category of products that will come with AI built into all sorts of things at home. The pin’s primary job is to connect to AI models through software the company calls AI Mic.

We know that it is powered by ChatGPT, although not limited to OpenAI technology. Its operating system, Cosmos, is designed to route your queries to the right tools automatically rather than asking you to download and manage apps.

The Humane Ai Pin is the beginning of a larger project. I’m also of the view that it’s the beginning of enabling human beings to be connected beings.

We are moving away from just a computer that is based in an office or one in the palms of our hands to something that is always with us.

Our voice will become the key in our interaction with devices. Buttons will also slowly disappear as we will using gestures.

Even if Ai Pin fails as a product, we will continue to see more gadgets that require a different form of interaction. We know that our cars will probably work without a steering wheel.

This form of interaction with devices will be taken to another level if the Neuralink by Elon Musk and company becomes a reality.

A lot about about this future of computing seems appealing until you get to an understanding of what will be required from us.

The Ai Pin will retail for $699 (R13,100) plus a $24 a month subscription fee. This tells us everything you need to know about the price we will have to pay to have computing power.

In a future where control of gadgets is less buttons and screens, we will probably compromise on control of our devices. Subscription model will govern how we will access devices.

Beyond just buying the device, a user will have to pay a monthly fee to use. Imagine driving a car that requires you to pay a subscription fee to access an air conditioner.

It seems to me products like Ai Pin should come with a warning. As more things disappear on our gadgets, we are also losing the control of things we were supposed to own.

Wesley Diphoko is the editor-In-chief of Fast Company.

Wesley Diphoko.

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