The smartphone is man's most important electronic companion and has become so perfect that one wonders what could actually become its successor. Two designers, both long-time employees at Apple and married to each other, have now unveiled a gadget beyond the smartphone, which will be available for pre-order in the United States from this Thursday.

Michael Spehr

Editor in the "Technology and Motor" department.

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Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno founded their company Humane in Silicon Valley in 2018, raised $100 million in venture capital and have now unveiled their AI Pin. AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. The small dongle with an edge size of about 5 centimeters is attached to clothing with a magnet, and a battery docks on the back. The housing contains a camera, a speaker and a projector. The electronic brooch lacks a display. Instead, content is either read aloud or played into the open palm of the hand with the projector.

The AI comes from Open AI

Inside, an AI from chat GPT maker Open AI works together with a special operating system called Cosmos and a Snapdragon processor. What the device can do so far: read out content, summarize emails, make real-time translations or provide nutritional information when holding food in front of the camera. The software can recognize objects, such as holding a book in front of the optics. This has a resolution of 13 megapixels, and in later versions it should also be able to record videos. To maintain privacy, a light is briefly activated when AI Pin collects data from the environment.

No one has been able to try out the device yet. If you order now for $700 and a data contract for $24 per month, you won't get AI Pin until next year at the earliest.

If the alter ego of the modern smartphone user, along with all private data, is located somewhere in a cloud anyway, you can do without simple output devices such as a smartphone with a screen. The personal assistant does not require bulky hardware and communicates by voice. This is probably the basic idea of the two designers.

The question remains as to how well the whole thing works, and whether you really want to talk to your digital assistant for a longer period of time in other people's surroundings. It could also quickly become apparent that a glance at 100 new e-mails separates the important from the unimportant much faster than having them read aloud.