The AI Hardware Thread ✨

Looks like AI hardware is the hot thing in tech for 2024! Here are the things I’ve seen in the marketplace so far. Wonder if anyone has heard of any others?

Humane AI Pin:
Style: Star Trek Pin Communicator

TLDR: ex-Apple folks leading the company, has a laser projection screen, costs $699 plus a subscription.

Rabbit R1:
Style: Real Life Pokedex

TLDR: Industrial design from Teenage Engineering who are awesome. Is pioneering the concept of a “Large Action Model” whereby you can teach the device to do all kinds of interactions not previously possible with an assistant. First 100k pre-orders come with a year of Perplexity AI Pro as a bonus (worth $200) - cost is only $200, no subscription. Over 60k sold in three weeks, stole the show at CES trade show.

Rewind AI Pendant:
Style: Minimalist Future

TLDR: The most minimal device of the lot. Basically an always on microphone. Everything you see or hear in a day will get logged to an app for review. Final pricing not confirmed but you can reserve a spot in line for $59.

Tab AI Necklace:
Style: Like Rewind but friendlier

TLDR: Always on therapist and life coach. Also an always-listening device. $600 which includes a year of service, service $50 a month after that.

Having read about all of these, and watched a lot of videos, I’m most impressed with the Rabbit R1 so far and will definitely pre-order one. The “Teach Mode” ability is the thing that sold it for me. I think it offers a lot of potential for automating very unique tasks.

There’s also apparently word that OpenAI are entering this market directly and working with Jony Ive on the hardware. So that will be one to watch.

Anyone else been following this trend?


The rabbit looks super interesting,

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I did post about the Rabbit R1 in the tech thread but nobody seemed interested in it (which I totally get). :joy:

I’d be very curious about how well it would work over here in the UK and the price is pretty cheap at £159.

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I presume this counts

I sort of like this, but can’t see how it could be used positively in the long run. I’d sort of hope it became a two mates watching the Simpsons together in a summer park kind of vibes.

I love this if for no other reason than it’s like a more modern tamagotchi

This terrifies me.

EDIT: I’m absolutely sure my current tech is already doing this covertly by the way, but this seems a little too 1984 for me.

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Finally uncut unedited real time demos. This is quite impressive. Seems to have lost the feature from TED, where the translation is done using the users own voice which I think is a shame. That was the most impressive thing about the TED presentation.

I kinda want it.

Looks a bit pointless to anyone who already owns an iPhone or an Android phone.

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Having watched that demo, I disagree. That’s sold me on the concept. There are things it enables you to do much better, and much faster than I can with my iPhone. And it enables you to do things you can’t do with your phone. And the form factor means you can use it in situations where the phone is less ideal or just doesn’t make sense.

I must have missed that bit as I am not seeing anything an app on the phone couldn’t do. However I can think of plenty of things you can’t do on this device that you can do on a phone.

Also I am presuming you already have a mobile and a number? Who is going to switch their mobile number to this thing or pay another ongoing subscription for a separate number when they already have a smartphone and possibly a watch. And that is after spending $700 on this device.

I can only surmise you didn’t watch the video because it was too long for you.

It’s not meant to replace your phone. It’s a companion device. A bit like the smart watch.

The subscription cost is less than what you’d need to pay with various apps in order to replicate most (but not all) of its functionality.

No I watched the whole video and really can’t see the point in this device for someone who already has an iPhone or Android phone hence why I made my original comment. This device is doing nothing an app on the phone couldn’t do, has severe limitations, and will be a total flop


Well at 8:10 they talk about how it fits into your life and reference that it’s never been about replacing anything. So I’m unsure, having watched the video, why you still think that’s point. Of course it’s going to fall short in doing that.

Okay, let’s put your claim to the test. ChatGPT can replicate a lot of the LLM features if you can pay £20 per month. £30 per month if you value privacy and integrity (which Humane does). That’s already more than Humane’s subscription cost. And it can’t replicate everything.

Microsoft gives you some of that stuff for free, with limits.

But what about the things LLM apps can’t do by itself. The vision features they demoed. Which app lets me take a photo of something and ask questions about it? Which app will scan me in front of a full length mirror and analyse my outfit for me? Or assess my hair style? Which app will scan my food and tell me its nutritional content, and then log it for me?

Looking forward to your suggestions because I’d love to have that functionality on my phone in a way that doesn’t compromise privacy.

The video was only so long because the device takes an age to respond :rofl:

Today I learned smartphones don’t have cameras. Point is they could have easily made this an app on a smartphone rather than build a whole expensive device that needs its own internet connectivity and subscription.

Plus who wants all their emails or whatever read out to them in public. And the bit that really got me is they basically admit that you need visual information and not just audio by having it project info onto their hand. By that point you might as well just be holding your iPhone in your hand. What a nonsense product. :man_facepalming:

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Disappointingly, that’s the response I was expecting. Your claims hold no truth, so you’ve shifted the goalposts.

I remember when the Apple Watch first came out. Opinions like yours were the norm. Heck, it was the same when the iPhone came out.

I’m not saying Humane’s AI pin will be successful, I can’t tell the future any better than you can. I’ll leave the prophecy telling to the fools.

But when it comes to making an AI hardware product, to differentiate and compliment an existing ecosystem of hardware products, I believe this is the way to go about it. I can see scenarios where I’d prefer a device like this and scenarios where I’d prefer my phone. The same sort of symbiotic relationship that exists between phones and watches today. It won’t be there on day one, just like Apple Watch wasn’t, but I’ve seen the potential now and they have me swayed in that they possibly have something special there. Especially if you pair it with something like AirPods.

To be honest I think they have got a cheek calling it a AI Pin. It is huge, not a pin!

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  1. Google maybe? There will be apps for this.
  2. and 3 - surely the question should be why would anyone need that? I’m sure I could find something on the App Store for vain people though.
  3. My Fitness Pal. Think it has done for years?

On the plus side it is much better looking than the silly rabbit thing.

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No, you misinterpreted my initial view.

Interestingly this was the next video in the you tube feed where he asks the same question. “Why is it not just an app?”

Google and my fitness pal don’t really meet the privacy needs. Google also really sucks at identifying what’s in the image. Myfitnesspal last I tried it only does food labels too, and it’s very hit or miss (FoodNoms is much much better and respects privacy).

There are apps that try to do the vision thing, but they generally suck and are not much beyond what the photos app already does on iOS (which still thinks my husky is a cat - A Turkish angora cat to be precise). Humane’s looks to be a multi-generational leap over existing computer vision technology. I presume Rabbit will be similar.

Privacy is the big selling point with humane compared to other outfits. The only company I expect can compete with them there is Apple, so iOS 18 will be interesting.

I don’t know why anyone needs an outfit check but I thought it was cool. Might be good for self confidence if you live alone and have an important meeting that day. I also think this is something a phone would struggle with actually because it would get in the way.

The point is though, that this is just the beginning. Apple Watched in very much the same way comparatively to the phone and slowly evolved into its own niche that makes owning very much worthwhile. This demo really only demonstrated to me that it has exactly the same potential as the watch. Which is what I’ve been needing from one of these companies to really get on board with the idea.

Oh really? Would you care to correct me then please?

These two posts, taken together, I don’t see any other way to interpret it other than you can already do everything that device does with a smartphone. If that’s not what you meant, I apologise.

My point is what is the point of this device and the cost of it when it could just be an app. Hence my comment “I am not seeing anything an app on the phone couldn’t do”

Thank you. That’s how I feel about the Rabbit.

But for Humane, I think they did good job of demonstrating the point of it beyond it just being an app. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. That’s ok.

I’m afraid I don’t quite get it either.

First, the AI stuff. I’m dubious about how good it would be in practice (and I note much of this is beta). If you’re calorie counting, not all donuts are equal. If you want fashion advice, surely you’re going to want to view the alternatives on a screen, and know something about price/availability? Again, though, I’m not sure how good AI would currently be at matching $random_garment to my physique and whatever else I’m wearing.

Second, the pin itself. Anyone wearing this in the office would be insufferable. Outside, I’m dubious the speaker/mic would be good enough. The projection feels pretty basic (why would you want the nvidia stock price on your hand rather than a performance chart on your phone?)

There’s scope for some really clever AI stuff but, in the short to medium term, it’s just not good enough to be voice only. I think we’re a long way away from AI planning my whole holiday, or even just the train or flights. The next step, for me, would be AI that plans it and offers me an itinerary/shopping list/reservations to confirm/tweak.

I watch this all with interest and I don’t deny there is some cutting edge boundary pushing going on here, but I don’t think AI pin is a product that will survive the test of time.