Day One With the Humane Ai Pin: The Out of Box Experience

El Brown
5 min readMay 17, 2024


As a lifetime early-adopter, I was excited to finally get my hands on the Humane Ai Pin. Worn like a combadge on the chest of an officer in Star Trek, the Ai Pin attaches to your clothing with the satisfying snap of a strong magnet. It’s a computer. It’s a cellphone. It’s much more than that and I’m still trying to figure it out.

The Humane Ai Pin

A lot of digital ink has been spilled reviewing Ai Pin so far and there are hours of videos on YouTube where professional and semi-professional reviewers give their opinions. This old-school blog will provide insight into my experience with the gadget and is aimed at readers who already know what it is, but want to learn more about what it’s like to live with on the daily — what up, Discord peeps!?

Who am I? Like I said, I’m a classic early adopter. I rocked the Sharp Wizard (and loved that thing!). I rocked the Apple Newton. I’m a non-tech worker at one of the biggest tech companies, and I’m a dad who has to hire a Task Rabbit to install a ceiling fan, but can set up your wi-fi and troubleshoot your cellphone whether it runs Android or iOS.

So hello.

Initial presentation and unboxing was exquisite — Apple-like. I’m not sure separate boxes is necessary or sustainable, but exploring the packages was a delight.

Delightful packaging made for a glorious unboxing.

I almost threw my Fog-colored Shield away, as I’d forgotten I’d ordered it and the tiny cardboard box in which it was separately packaged was temporarily lost in the packing paper. Luckily no-one was around to watch me dig through the recycling container in my garage to find it. After snapping the Shield onto Ai Pin, I instantly wished I’d gone with a black one. The off-white shield is jarring on the black, square gadget.

Having seen nothing but almost universally negative reviews of Ai Pin during the long wait before receiving mine, I was low-key worried about what I might experience. Those fears were unfounded, as I had no trouble. My black-on-black “Equinox” Pin greeted me with the rainbow Trust Light when I removed it from its packaging. I was able to go through the quick, first-boot tutorial without issue, then — as my kit arrived early during a workday — had the discipline to put it on its charging pad right away and forgot about it for a few hours.

I did fail to connect it to wi-fi before that first full charge, so the expected upgrade to the latest software didn’t happen during that downtime. Frankly, I’m pretty amazed that it quickly and confidently retrieved information I’d already entered into Humane.Center on its out-of-box software.

The first questions I asked all elicited relatively quick and completely correct responses:

  • When was Mom last in hospital?
  • Does Mom have any doctor’s appointments coming up?
  • What about me?
  • When is Childish Gambino’s next concert?

There were some minor hiccups as I asked subsequent questions. When I asked “Are there any NHL games today,” the response was technically correct, but the puck drop times were given in Eastern time. I’m in Arizona, so the provided start times were three hours off.

When I told Ai Pin to “Look and tell me what you see,” it set the scene well, but said the person standing in front of me was named “Alex.” My son’s name is “Jalen” and he was wearing his hospital nametag, which was clearly visible. I told Ai Pin to look again and the second time, it said the name was “Omar.” Strange!

I told the Pin I prefer times expressed in a 24 hour, or “military time” format. This information was noted in .Center, but Ai Pin continues to use a.m./p.m. when stating times.

Because there was a months-long wait between my January preorder and the Ai Pin’s early May arrival, I already have an extensive number of notes in .Center, including ones titled “Old Jobs” and “Old Addresses.” The next questions asked were answered perfectly.

  • When did I work for Westwood One MetroSource?
  • When did I live on 185th Drive?

The latter was a trick question, as I lived at that location in two separate stints. Ai Pin responded with both. That’s the kind of surprise and delight Apple prides itself in and I was grinning like an idiot when Ai Pin got it right!

“Nerd Shit.”

When I followed with “What about Victory Drive,” Ai Pin dropped the ball. This is formatted differently in my note as “Prior to 1988” — it’s my childhood home. Ai Pin told me it had no record of me living on Victory Drive. I changed my prompt to “When did I live in Erie, Pennsylvania?” This was a fail, as well. I can only surmise the “Prior to 1988” verbiage in my note next to that address isn’t being recognized for some reason.

Coffee shop time on Day One with the Humane Ai Pin.

Next up, I hit the road with my Ai Pin for the first time. At my favorite coffee shop, the too cute (and too young) barista asked “What’s that,” pointing directly at the Pin. I wish I’d said “It’s a new, contextual computer connected to AI. It’s also a cellphone and camera that allows me to keep my head up instead of constantly looking at my iPhone.” Instead, I muttered something like “It’s an AI computer .. nerd shit.” Still, she gave me an enthusiastic “Cool!” I think this thing is going to sell itself once people see for themselves what it can do.

Up Next: Mastering Laser Ink and leveraging the Notes section of .Center to make Ai Pin your “second brain.”