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Humane AI – Pico Laser Projection – $230M AI Twist on an Old Scam

🌈 Abstract

The article provides a critical analysis of the Humane AI device, a wearable laser projection system that claims to offer AI-powered capabilities. The author examines the technical limitations and practical challenges of the Humane AI, comparing it to existing smartphone and smartwatch technologies.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Physical Address and CES/SPIE Attendance

1. What is the author's physical address? The author's physical address is 304 North Cardinal St., Dorchester Center, MA 02124.

2. What events is the author planning to attend? The author plans to attend CES from January 9th to 12th, 2024, and the SPIE AR/MR/VR conference from January 29th to 31st, 2024.

3. How can readers meet up with the author at these events? Readers can email the author at to arrange a meeting at either event.

[02] Humane AI Overview

1. What is the core concept behind the Humane AI device? The Humane AI device combines the concept of using a laser projector to project on the body with the failed projector phone concept from the early 2000s, but without a flat panel display and with more limited processing power than a smartphone.

2. What are the author's main criticisms of the Humane AI device? The author's main criticisms include:

  • The device's poor image quality, low resolution, and limited color and grayscale depth
  • The challenges of using the skin as a projection surface, including issues with ambient light, focus, and image distortion
  • The limitations of the device's voice recognition and AI capabilities compared to existing smartphone and virtual assistant technologies

3. How does the author compare the Humane AI device to a smartphone? The author argues that a modern smartphone has significantly better display, processing, and connectivity capabilities than the Humane AI device, and can perform most of the tasks the Humane AI claims to offer in a more effective and practical manner.

[03] Historical Context and Comparisons

1. What is the author's perspective on the history of laser projection scams? The author has documented various laser projector scams since 2011, noting that scammers often associate "laser" with exaggerated capabilities and "hologram" with deceptive marketing.

2. How does the author compare the Humane AI to previous wrist-mounted projection concepts? The author draws parallels between the Humane AI and previous failed wrist-mounted projection concepts, such as Ritot, Cicret, and the Haier Laser Projector Watch, all of which struggled with technical limitations and poor image quality.

3. Why does the author believe the Humane AI is unlikely to succeed where previous similar concepts have failed? The author argues that the Humane AI lacks any meaningful advantages over a smartphone and faces significant practical and technical challenges, making it unlikely to succeed where previous similar concepts have failed.

[04] Funding and Investor Skepticism

1. How much funding has the Humane AI project raised? The Humane AI project has raised a total of $230 million from investors, including SK Networks, Microsoft, LG, Volvo, Qualcomm, and OpenAI founder Sam Altman.

2. What is the author's perspective on the investors' decision to fund the Humane AI project? The author expresses confusion and skepticism about how so many prominent companies and investors were convinced to provide funding for the Humane AI project, given the apparent technical limitations and lack of clear advantages over existing technologies.

3. How does the author compare the Humane AI funding to the scrutiny typically applied to other startups? The author notes that while startups often face rigorous scrutiny and due diligence from venture capitalists for much smaller funding amounts, the Humane AI project was able to raise a significantly larger sum with seemingly less critical evaluation.

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