The start-up Humane was founded by two former Apple executives. It is in partnership with Microsoft or OpenAI, has raised $ 100 million and aims to release a “wearable” in the coming months that will work thanks to artificial intelligence. 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 artificial intelligence-based product in spring 2023, with no one really knowing what it is. Until then, we could say that this is another project that will fail once it launches. But behind the scenes, that’s not what we can see: Humane just completed its third fundraiser, 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 director in the human interface team and operations director. A company 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, who have left ship. The startup website is still a bit empty: most of the pages contain only sentences with vague and consensual concepts. There are, however, some press releases about fundraising.
What we do know is that a product will be released this season that incorporates artificial intelligence. As reported by Wall Street Journal“ published patents suggest that Humane plans to build a wearable device that could potentially project a screen for users to interact with. A patent that specifies that users can operate the interface with air gestures or with their fingers.
a portable fully powered by AI
For his part, John Gruber of Bold fireball shared”a low-definition copy of a Humane presentation to an investor in 2021“, to write Phone Arena. It would be a connected and AI-powered camera: it would store photos and videos in the cloud. Nevertheless, this wouldn’t necessarily be the product to launch in the coming months. The marketing presentation mentions the use of a LiDAR that would answer certain questions. One could ask thisportablewhat is the model of car we show him, the price of an object we see, what is the building in front of us, etc.
Also according to the shared presentation, the device can “support for microtransactions that once required a smartphone are now even faster, easier and smoother with contextual awareness using display“. The question that remains unanswered is still the obligation to have a smartphone for this product to work. But we know that the camera feed can be used for applications and especially social networks such as Instagram and Snapchat.
Reputable partners and major fundraisers
Humane announced on March 8 that it was done a third fundraiser which grossed no less than $100 million. In addition to this $100 million, $130 million had already been raised during two previous rounds.
In addition to the amount of the transaction, it is also the names in 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). However, a list that needs to be put in perspective: the big companies in the industry all invest in different projects, to see them grow and why not to democratize their products/services on a larger scale. This allows them to predict future trends while having their hands on the next technologies.
In addition, we learn that Humane will rely on Microsoft to market its future product and use its cloud service to operate its artificial intelligence. In addition, the start-up will use OpenAI technology for its device. We think this product will integrate a language model like GPT 3.5, which is currently used by ChatGPT. The published press release also adds that Volvo will partner with Humane “about a possible future collaboration that would be the first example of applying Humane’s offering to the automotive industry.»
Why Apple isn’t 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 headset. The helmet is rumored to be in advanced stages and a presentation could take place at the next WWDC in June.
But one statement from John Gruber is the relationship between Apple and its two former top executives. It indicates that “Bongiorno and Chaudhri did not leave on good terms, with Chaudhri in particular seen as taking excessive personal credit for the work of a larger team.One thing is certain, the two sides no longer want to engage in human relations.
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