Call it a coup and you are not far from it. Plotted by two highly experienced products developers from one of the best products companies in the world. It is called AI PIN.

In a world dominated by smartphones, Humane, a startup founded by former Apple employees Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri, is introducing a groundbreaking device that aims to redefine our relationship with technology. The Ai Pin, officially unveiled after months of anticipation, is a $699 wearable that attaches to the user’s lapel, offering a unique blend of AI capabilities without the need for a tethered smartphone.

The Ai Pin’s design is sleek and minimalist, resembling a small square device with a camera, microphone, depth and motion sensors, and a touchpad. It is powered by a Qualcomm chip and leverages AI to provide a variety of features. The device communicates with the wearer through a “personic speaker” or paired Bluetooth headphones, eliminating the need for a traditional screen.

One of the most innovative features of the Ai Pin is the Laser Ink Display, projecting text onto the user’s palm, replacing the need for a touchscreen. The device’s two-piece design, comprising the main computer and a battery booster, allows users to hot swap power sources on the go, ensuring uninterrupted usage and all-day battery life.

Privacy is a key focus for Humane, addressing concerns related to constant surveillance. The Ai Pin activates only upon user engagement and does not use wake words, ensuring it is not always listening or recording. A prominent “Trust Light” indicates when any sensors are active, managed via a dedicated privacy chip. If compromised, the Ai Pin shuts down, requiring professional service from Humane.

Running on Cosmos, a proprietary operating system infused with AI, the Ai Pin introduces the Ai Bus, a new AI software framework that eliminates the need for downloading, managing, or launching apps. This approach allows the device to quickly understand user needs and connect them to the right AI experience or service instantly.

Interestingly, the specific variety of ChatGPT is not explicitly mentioned, but the collaboration with OpenAI is highlighted. Humane’s partnership with Microsoft and OpenAI provides access to powerful AI models, laying the foundation for future capabilities and updates.

The service enables off-device customization, managing and accessing data, including photos, videos, and notes. This centralized platform ensures a streamlined interaction from setup to daily use, a crucial aspect given the device’s voice- and touch-only interface.

While initial reports suggested a cost “upwards of $1,000,” the $699 price tag may be more palatable, considering the innovative features offered. However, the additional $24 monthly subscription fee for unlimited calling, texting, and data through T-Mobile adds to the overall cost.

Humane demonstrated various use cases, including real-time translation and the ability to recognize food to assess its fitness relevance. Tidal, a music streaming service, is the device’s first software partner, offering an “AI-driven music experience.”

The level of secrecy and hype surrounding the Ai Pin launch is reminiscent of past tech launches, with Humane positioned as a potential disruptor in the industry. The startup’s deep ties to Apple and the involvement of former Apple employees add an extra layer of intrigue.

Investors, including prominent figures like Sam Altman, have shown confidence in Humane, contributing to a total funding of $230 million. The company’s vision aligns with the current excitement around generative AI, positioning the Ai Pin as an early use case for large language models.

As the Ai Pin enters the market, questions arise about whether the world is ready to move beyond smartphones. Humane distinguishes its vision from Apple’s with a focus on “ambient computing” over “spatial computing.” The device’s emphasis on being unobtrusive and seamlessly integrated into daily life aims to redefine the way we interact with technology.

Will this coup be truncated, or will AI PIN win. I guess consumers get to decide that.