The start-up company Humane was founded by two former Apple executives. It is in partnership with Microsoft or OpenAI, has raised 100 million dollars and intends to launch a “wearable” that will work thanks to artificial intelligence in the coming months. Simple gadget or future revolution in the market? The project is still too vague to determine.
Humane is another mysterious start-up that plans to launch its first AI-based product in the spring of 2023, with no one really knowing what it is. Until then, we could say that this is one more project that will fail as soon as it is released. But behind the scenes, that’s not what we get to see: Humane just completed its third fundraising event, raising a whopping $100 million, for a total of $230 million.
Humane: what are the plans of this mysterious start-up?
Humane was founded in 2018 by two former Apple executives, Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno. They were, respectively, design directors on the human interface team and director of operations. A business that has become a family affair, as the two founders are now married. In addition, many employees are also former members of the Cupertino company, having jumped ship. The start-up’s website is still a bit empty: most pages only provide vague, agreed-upon concept sentences. However, there are some press releases about fundraising.
What we do know is that this season there will be a product that will incorporate artificial intelligence. As reported by Wall Street Journal« The published patents suggest that Humane intends to build a wearable device that can project a screen that users can interact with. A patent specifying that users could control the interface using air or finger gestures.
AND usable fully powered by AI
For his part, John Gruber of daring fireballshared” a low definition copy of a Humane presentation to an investor in 2021 “, writtentelephone arena. It would be a connected camera powered by AI: it would store photos and videos in the cloud. However, this would not necessarily be the product released in the coming months. The marketing presentation mentions the use of a LiDAR that would answer certain questions. one could ask thisusablewhat is the car model that we show you, the price of an object that we see, what is the building in front of which we are, etc.
Also according to the shared presentation, the device can “support microtransactions that once required a smartphone and are now even faster, easier and more fluid with visualization-assisted context recognition“. The question that remains unanswered remains the requirement to have a smartphone for this product to work. But we know that the camera stream could be used for applications and, in particular, social networks such as Instagram and Snapchat.
Renowned Partners and Major Fundraisers
Humane announced on March 8 that it had completed a third fundraiser that raised no less than $100 million. In addition to these $100 million, $130 million had already been raised in two previous rounds.
Beyond the amount of the transaction, it is also the names on the participant list that can impress. Microsoft, LG, Volvo, Qualcomm, Forerunner (Garmin) as well as Sam Altman, founder of OpenAI (in which Microsoft has invested $10 billion). A list that, however, must be put into perspective: the main companies in the industry invest in different projects, to see them grow and, why not, democratize their products/services on a larger scale. This allows them to predict future trends while getting their hands on upcoming technologies.
In addition, we learn that Humane will rely on Microsoft for the commercialization of its future product and that it will use its cloud service to operate its artificial intelligence. In addition, the start-up will use OpenAI technology for its device. We can think that this product will integrate a language model like GPT 3.5, the one currently used by ChatGPT. The published press release also adds that Volvo will work with Humane.”about a possible future collaboration that would be the first example of the application of Humane’s offering to the automotive industry.»
Why Apple is not in the game
According to information from John Gruber, Apple would not be interested in taking a stake. We can think that the apple brand is very focused on its Apple Glass mixed reality headphones. The helmet is rumored to be in an advanced stage and a presentation could take place at the next WWDC next June.
But one explanation put forward by John Gruber is the relationship between Apple and its two former top executives. He indicates that “Bongiorno and Chaudhri did not leave on good terms, with Chaudhri in particular being seen as taking excessive personal credit for work done by a larger team.One thing is certain, the two parties no longer want to establish human relations.
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