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Humane struggles with AI Pin launch

Humane struggles with AI Pin launch

AI Struggles

Humane, a San Francisco-based startup, has faced significant challenges with the launch of its AI Pin, a futuristic wearable device powered by artificial intelligence. Despite raising $240 million from prominent Silicon Valley investors and spending five years developing the product, the company has struggled to gain traction in the market. The AI Pin, priced at $699, was heavily marketed by Humane for a year, including appearances at high-profile events like Paris Fashion Week.

However, when the device was finally released in April, tech critics gave it scathing reviews.

The negative reception dealt a severe blow to Humane’s ambitions, as the company had hoped to sell 100,000 units this year but had only received around 10,000 orders by early April. In the wake of the disappointing launch, Humane has reportedly engaged in discussions with HP and other potential buyers about a possible acquisition for more than $1 billion.

The company has also retained Tidal Partners, an investment bank, to assist in navigating these conversations while simultaneously managing a new funding round that would value the startup at $1.1 billion.

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Humane faces AI pin struggles

Adding to Humane’s troubles, the company recently advised customers to stop using the AI Pin’s charging case due to a potential fire safety risk associated with its battery.

In an email to users, Humane revealed that a quality issue with a third-party battery cell was discovered after a report of a charging problem involving a non-Humane USB-C cable and power source. The company has since disqualified the vendor responsible for the faulty battery cells and is searching for a new supplier. To compensate for the inconvenience caused by the charging case issue, Humane is offering two free months of its subscription service, which is necessary for most of the AI Pin’s functionality.

The company emphasized that the AI Pin itself, the magnetic Battery Booster, and the charging pad are not affected by the battery problem. The AI Pin’s rocky launch and subsequent challenges underscore the uncertainties in the rapidly evolving AI hardware market, where even well-funded companies with innovative products can face significant hurdles. As Humane navigates these difficulties, the company’s future remains uncertain, with the possibility of a sale or additional funding on the horizon.

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