Humane lays off staff before its 'Ai Pin' begins shipping

Key Takeaways:

– Humane AI, a wearable startup, has laid off around 10 employees (four percent of its workforce) before shipping its Ai Pin product.
– The company’s leadership informed employees that budgets would be lowered in 2024.
– CEO and co-founder Bethany Bongiorno called the cuts part of a wider refresh of the company’s organizational structure.
– CTO Patrick Gates will transition to an advisor role, while new heads of hardware, software, and other departments have been promoted.
– The Ai Pin is a wearable AI assistant that takes voice commands and projects relevant information onto the user’s hand. It also has AI-powered optical recognition capabilities.
– The device is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon processor and uses Cosmos OS software.
– The Ai Pin has not been thoroughly reviewed, but the company demonstrated its functionality in a video.
– It can perform tasks like playing music, answering questions, and sending messages.
– Humane also provides a central hub for images and offers accessories like clips and battery cases.
– The performance of the Ai Pin’s AI tasks in the real world is yet to be seen.

engadget:

Wearable startup Humane AI laid off four percent of its employees before it has started shipping its Ai Pin, The Verge has reported. Leadership reportedly told employees that budgets would be lowered in 2024, according to sources familiar with the matter. The cuts were implemented earlier this week and affect around 10 people. 

On LinkedIn, CEO and co-founder Bethany Bongiorno called the cuts “part of a wider refresh of our organizational structure as our company evolves with purpose for this next phase of growth.” She added that CTO Patrick Gates will be transitioning to an advisor role, and that Humane AI had promoted new heads of hardware, software and others as part of a reorganization. Bongiorno told The Verge that the cuts were “not communicated as a layoff,” though sources told that outlet that they were, both verbally and in writing.  

Humane was founded by ex-Apple executives Bongiorno and her husband Imran Chaudhri. It’s primary product is the “Ai Pin” that acts as a sort of wearable AI assistant. The company first unveiled the device at a Paris fashion show and announced last month that it would start shipping in March for $699. 

Humane

The pin takes voice commands from the user and beams relevant information onto the user’s hand via a built-in projector. It can also perform AI-powered optical recognition via a camera. It’s powered by a quad-core Snapdragon processor with a dedicated Qualcomm AI Engine using Cosmos OS software. The founders have said that it “quickly understands what you need, connecting you to the right AI experience or service instantly.” 

The Ai Pin has yet to be thoroughly reviewed (other than a few short tests), but the company demonstrated how it works in a video released last month. The founders showed how you can give it specific commands like “play music written by Prince, but not performed by Prince.” The device can then display the information on your hand via the projector and control music playback and more by tilting or closing your hand. 

It can also answer questions by searching the web and send messages with modifiers like “add more excitement.” You can use it to monitor your health and nutrition, and Humane provides a central hub for images, etc., along with accessories like clips, battery cases and more. How well it performs its AI tasks in the real world, though, remains to be seen.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/humane-lays-off-staff-before-its-ai-pin-begins-shipping-103548514.html?src=rss
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AI Eclipse TLDR:

Wearable startup Humane AI has laid off around four percent of its employees before the launch of its Ai Pin, according to a report from The Verge. The company’s leadership reportedly informed employees that budgets would be reduced in 2024. The cuts were implemented earlier this week and affected approximately 10 people. CEO and co-founder Bethany Bongiorno referred to the layoffs as part of a wider organizational restructuring in a LinkedIn post, stating that the company is evolving for the next phase of growth. CTO Patrick Gates will transition to an advisory role, and new heads of hardware, software, and other departments have been promoted. The Ai Pin, the company’s primary product, is a wearable AI assistant that uses voice commands and a built-in projector to display relevant information on the user’s hand. The device has not yet been thoroughly reviewed, but a video released by the company demonstrated its functionality. Humane AI was founded by ex-Apple executives Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri.