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Humane up for sale after failure of AI Pin

Despite its promises, Humane's AI Pin has left the company desperately seeking a buyer. (Image via Humane and stock photo, w/ edits)
Despite its promises, Humane's AI Pin has left the company desperately seeking a buyer. (Image via Humane and stock photo, w/ edits)
AI startup Humane Inc. is looking for someone to buy its business roughly a month after its first device, the AI Pin, was roundly panned by reviewers and early adopters. Humane values its company somewhere between $750 million and $1 billion.

Artificial Intelligence may be in fashion, but it doesn't always pay the bills. 

Humane, the company behind the widely-criticized AI Pin wearable, is reportedly seeking a buyer for the entire company, according to Bloomberg. Citing "people familiar with the matter," Humane is allegedly working with a financial adviser to identify a private party and sell its business. 

Humane is known for the AI Pin, a small wearable that can be worn on a shirt. The Pin attaches via magnets and uses gesture controls and voice commands for user input. It also houses a built-in projector for navigating menus and delivering visual information. Users are encouraged to use their hands as the screen for the projected image, which is only one aspect of the device that has been met with heavy criticism. 

While Humane hyped up the AI Pin, it largely failed to live up to expectations. Reviewers and early adopters complained of poor battery life, high temperatures, and inconsistent or slow performance. The AI features were also less than impressive, often delivering incomplete or incorrect information. Considering the asking price of $699 for the Pin on top of a recurring subscription fee of $24 per month (exclusive of additional taxes and fees). Considering the Pin's features can essentially be replicated in an app on a much cheaper smartphone (like the Samsung Galaxy A54, currently available at Amazon for $379.50), it seems that few people are interested in buying one.

It seems that the AI Pin's colossal failure may have spurred the company's search for a buyer. However, it may be some time before Humane finds a party willing to sell out the cash for the business; Humane has valued the company between $750 million and $1 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter. To its credit, Humane raised $230 million in venture capital and other investments. Still, it remains to be seen if anyone actually thinks Humane is worth $750 million or more.

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Sam Medley, 2024-05-22 (Update: 2024-05-22)