Humane, the creator of the $700 Ai Pin, is reportedly seeking a buyer

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Humane, the company behind the much-hyped Ai Pin that launched to less-than-glowing reviews last month, is on the hunt for a buyer, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources.

The company has reportedly priced itself between $750 million and $1 billion, and the sale process is in the early stages, Bloomberg cited the sources as saying.

Humane has never revealed an official valuation at any of its funding rounds, though The Information reported last year that its valuation was $850 million.

Humane did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the report.

A pin in a haystack

Founded in 2017 by former Apple executives Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri, Humane had raised around $230 million from backers such as Microsoft, Qualcomm Ventures, Marc Benioff, and OpenAI’s Sam Altman before any part of its product was even publicly revealed.

The company finally unveiled its product last June: Called Ai Pin, it's a wearable gadget with a projected display and AI-powered features. The reveal kicked off a period of pre-orders in the U.S., but the launch was delayed before the Ai Pin finally dropped in mid-April.

The Ai Pin sports a unique form factor and is packed with sensors, generative AI and a small projector that can beam a display onto any surface — such as your hand.

Humane in action
Humane in action.

But with a price tag of $700, plus a recurring $24 monthly subscription that gives the user a phone number and unlimited data to power as many queries as they can muster, the Ai Pin seemed to be a tough sell in a cash-strapped consumer market. In some ways, the device seemed like a solution in search of a problem, and many of its initial reviews said the Ai Pin doesn't really do much more than what you can already do with your smartphone.

High-profile YouTuber and reviewer Marques Brownlee, known as MKBHD, gave a particularly damning review, which many said could single-handedly kill the Ai Pin before it had properly launched.

Throw into the mix complaints around battery life and overheating issues, not to mention other emerging (and cheaper) smart gadgets such as Meta's Ray-Bans and Rabbit's R1, and it has seemed increasingly unlikely that Humane would be able to gain any kind of meaningful foothold in the wearable market.

Also, it's worth noting that the company's chief technology officer (CTO), Patrick Gates, who joined Humane in 2019 after 13 years at Apple, left the company in January alongside 4% of the workforce.

All in all, things haven't seemed rosy at Humane for a while, so the news that it might be seeking a buyer isn't hugely surprising. Whether any suitor is willing to bite, though, is very much in the balance.