Ai Pin: Mastering Laser Ink and Leveraging .Center

El Brown
4 min readMay 19, 2024


I’ve been wearing the Humane Ai Pin for three days now and I’m still glad I have it. I remembered to unlock the device before putting it on the charging pad at the end of the first night and was rewarded with an overnight update to the latest firmware upon wakeup.

Much of my second day with the Pin was spent trying to get the hang of using the Laser Ink display. Knowing just where to place your palm isn’t exactly intuitive, but you can get pretty good at it in no time once you figure things out.

I’m able to reliably laser in while seated and indoors, but trying to use the Laser Ink display in a moving car or while walking does not come naturally to me. A YouTube video from Humane’s Sam Sheffer instructs users to hold your hand a little lower than you’d think you should and I’ve found that to be helpful. Meantime, review consensus that the display is hard to read in bright environments is spot-on.

Sitting in a brightly-lit coffee shop on my second day with the Pin, I blew through 29 percent of battery in about 15 minutes while lasered in, trying to pair my Bose Quiet Comfort II earbuds.

Once connecting the earbuds, I used Tidal for the first time. I asked Ai Pin to play a specific Tidal playlist and it responded with some random music I’d never heard before. I subsequently learned on Discord that you can ask for specific music, but playlists aren’t yet supported. What would make me happier than getting Tidal playlist support would be the introduction of Apple Music integration. Humane promises additional services and capabilities to come. Having my music streaming service of choice would be a big one.

When I received a phone call while listening to music, I switched Bluetooth audio to my iPhone. After the call ended, I immediately wished for the kind of automatic switching Apple devices do in similar situations.

When the Bluetooth reconnect didn’t come automatically, I decided to put the earbuds away rather than messing around with the Laser Ink display again. I was totally self-conscious in the busy business, with my palm in front of my chest, playing with the Pin. Your mileage there may vary.

Sitting here writing this a day later, I was able to quickly laser in, navigate to the Bluetooth settings, and reconnect the earbuds. This was pain-free and easy. Tomorrow’s experience will be to see what kind of battery hit Ai Pin takes when streaming audio. For what it’s worth, I’ve had no battery life or thermal concerns in my first couple of days, now that I’m on firmware version 1.1.3.

Humane.Center (courtesy Humane)

Humane.Center is home to your photos, notes, lists, and more. The company’s website calls it the place “to relive your memories, organize your stuff, or manage your preferences.” It’s available from any web browser.

I’d like to share how I’m using the Notes section of .Center to feed the Pin information about me. I have notes covering the following topics:

  • My Family
  • My Partner’s Family
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries
  • Previous Addresses
  • Previous Employers
  • And more!

My partner and I just celebrated our first anniversary together and I’ll be the first to admit I have trouble keeping track of her five brothers. Not anymore. The boys’ names and birthdates are in that note, as well as where they work. Having recall of information like that is the kind of “second brain” use case to which I most looked forward and the function doesn’t disappoint.

My favorite note is one I simply call Calendar. Since Ai Pin doesn’t yet have calendaring functions, I tell it stuff like “Add ‘Coffee with Celeste Wednesday at 1’ to my Calendar note.” I was happy the requested information was added to the note instead of being added to a brand-new note. I wasn’t sure that would work, but it did, and beautifully.

I also have a special note for my elderly mother. It covers all of her doctors, medications, and appointments. Being able to query “When is mom going back to the neurologist” is very useful. This is obviously information that previously lived in the iOS Notes app, but having it a touch away, without opening an app feels like the future. In fact, it was the note with my mother’s medical information that inspired me to scour my iPhone notes for other things that should live in .Center.

My partner calls worrying about things that haven’t yet happened “Borrowing trouble.” I’m going to close this post by borrowing a little trouble. It just occurred to me that there’s no archive mechanism in .Center other than manually deleting stuff that’s no longer relevant. It will be interesting to see how the web app responds when you have dozens — or hundreds — of notes instead of just a handful. Manually culling old stuff might be quite the chore someday.

That’s a problem for another day, however. For now, I’m going to continue to find new uses for Ai Pin, incorporating it into every facet of my life. It is my plan to keep these posts coming as I do.

Previously: Learn more about my Day One, out of box experience.