Inhumane A.I.

The next wave of wearable tech comes with serious societal ramifications

Stephen Moore


Image: The Humane “Ai Pin”

This article was originally published on my Substack, Trend Mill.

Wearables have long been touted as the next big tech front.

But to this point, results have been mixed — with the scale tipping towards bust rather than boom. The only real successes have been the Fitbit and Apple Watch. Google Glasses was perhaps the most infamous fail, though Meta refuses to let the concept die with its Smart RayBan glasses. Lol. Over the last year or so, we’ve seen our tech overlords push into a frontier — giant, neck-breaking headsets — the result of which has been a very expensive disaster. The Metaverse, the digital environment that these headsets would grant us access to, failed to take off, and with it, killed the most practical use case. Apple is entering the sector early next year with a focus on Augmented Reality instead, so you can… do your spreadsheets while standing in a room ignoring those around you?

The outcome will likely be the same. Why? Because wearable tech is an industry full of self-hype with very little to show.

Now, enter the A.I. grifters, who believe they can crack the wearable conundrum by stuffing devices with A.I. capabilities. Over the last few days and weeks, we’ve seen some glimpses of upcoming wearable devices, all similar: smaller, screen-less, and targeted at being a fashion accessory (one straight from the Apple playbook).

The most notable was revealed last week by a company called Humane. Formed by ex-Apple executives, it appears they are deploying the Apple playbook to a tee. Just as the Apple Watch debuted at Paris Fashion Week, Humane revealed the “Ai Pin” (a not-so-subtle nod to Apple with the lowercase ‘i’) at this year’s show, adorning it on Supermodel Naomi Campbell as she strutted down the catwalk.

Humane’s description of the devices almost scores the entire buzzword bingo card:

The Humane Ai Pin is the screenless, standalone device and software platform built from the ground up for AI. The intelligent clothing-based wearable uses a range of sensors that enable natural and intuitive compute interactions and is designed to weave seamlessly into users’ day-to-day lives. The…