Humane’s AI Pin is a screenless, wearable smartphone that’s straight out of Black Mirror

Humane has officially launched its AI Pin, a wearable phone (of sorts) that has been leaked in the past, leaving a lot of questions unanswered – and the invention still has us scratching our heads, frankly. As does the price, but we’ll come back to that later.

So where do we start? The AI Pin is a square gadget with phone capabilities, but doesn't have a screen. It attaches to your shirt (or other clothing) using a magnetic clip, which is also the battery for the device. This clip can be switched out for another if you run out of juice partway through the day.

The engine is a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU and the Pin is equipped with a camera, speaker, and motion sensors, but as mentioned there’s no screen. However, there is a built-in projector, as we saw in the leaked video earlier this year, so you can get a display of sorts projected onto your hand when held in front of the device.

So how do you operate the AI Pin? By using your voice, or with a touchpad on its surface that allows for gesture controls – and a camera which can scan objects.

The Humane AI Pin projecting onto a hand

(Image credit: Humane)

The idea is you can make phone calls (of course), get a phrase translated into a different language right there and then – and spoken in your actual voice, which is pretty cool – and get a summary of your recent emails, to give some examples. There are other tricks, too, such as streaming music (via Tidal).

As the name suggests, AI is an integral part of Humane’s wearable, and you get the ability to throw as many queries as you want at its models (ChatGPT and Microsoft’s AI), which is all tied into the subscription for the Pin. Yes, subscription – let’s talk costs at this point.

The AI Pin will be available to order from November 16 and will cost an upfront $ 699 (around £569 / AU$ 1,090) for the device (and two spare battery clips), then on top you have a subscription running to $ 24 monthly in the US (on T-Mobile). This means you get a phone number and unlimited data allowance, plus the Pin allows for unlimited usage of AI with a cloud storage locker for media thrown in, too.

Analysis: Too many Pin holes?

The problem with the AI Pin is while it seems like a cool novelty on the face of it – and the device is certainly innovative, you can’t knock it on that front – we have a lot of concerns about its usability in the real-world.

Interacting with the AI Pin using your voice may be all well and good in theory, but as anyone who has a smart speaker knows, the likes of Alexa can be spectacularly bad at recognizing your commands at times. And gesture-based commands can be finicky, too (especially on something pinned to your shirt or jacket that you’re looking down at).

The Humane AI Pin projecting onto a hand

(Image credit: Humane)

Price-wise, it’s a big ask for what’s a very small phone-like wearable, especially when you consider that subscription cost on top. We worry about not having a screen, and of course there’s another issue: appearing to talk to your jacket in public is probably not top of everyone’s wish-list of things to be doing on a daily basis.

We need to get the AI Pin for proper testing, of course, and evaluation of its various features, but fears are our overriding first thoughts. And to be honest, that price is frankly terrifying, for something that, let’s face it, can’t really replace your all-singing-and-dancing smartphone, but only complement it.

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You can now join a video call straight from Google Docs

Joining a Meet video call is now easier than ever thanks to a new feature that will allow users to join directly from Google Docs, Sheets or Slides.

The Google Workspace update allows users to join a video conferencing call with just a click, meaning there's no need to scrabble around for a calendar invite or email.

Going forward, Google Docs users will see a new icon next to the “Share” button, allowing them to join a Meet video call directly from their document.

Google Docs video calls

The new taskbar will house a full list of all the video calls and meetings a users has scheduled, including dates and times, with the join button showing once a meeting is live.

As mentioned, it will be present not just in Google Docs, but also Sheets and Slides, giving users multiple ways to join.

Google Docs join a Meet call

(Image credit: Google Workspace)

Google says this new approach will also allow users to have the content they are working on open and within sight whilst on a call, rather than needing to juggle multiple apps or browser windows.

The tool was first announced last month, but is now rolling out to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business users now. It will be on by default, with users starting to see the changes immediately.

“To help teams do their best work in the hybrid work world, as many of us begin a return to office, we continue to make enhancements to Google Meet to help ensure that video meetings are inclusive and collaborative no matter the location or device preference,” the entry in the Google Workspace update blog states.

 “We hope this feature makes it easier for everyone in the meeting to collaborate in real-time while having a conversation—all from the same tab.”

Google Meet is also set to soon receive a new picture-in-picture mode, which will allow Chrome users to bring up a floating meeting window that sits on top of other browser tabs.

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Microsoft Edge is getting a major security boost straight out of Minority Report

Microsoft is looking to give its web browser a significant security upgrade with the release of a new build featuring some useful protection updates.

The company has revealed that Microsoft Edge v.98 will offer a boosted browsing experience that puts safety and security at the forefront, as well as “giving you an extra layer of protection when browsing the web.”

This will allow users to “enhance your security on the web”, the official entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap says.

Step forward

There's not a lot of detail about what the “new browsing experience” in Microsoft Edge v.98 will entail just yet, but the company says it will be “a step forward”.

It will allow administrators to apply group policies to end-user desktops across not just Windows devices, but also those running macOS and Linux. 

These should help protect against so-called zero-day threats, which are brand-new malware threats that typically look to take advantage of recently-discovered security flaws, and are often extremely dangerous due to a lack of reference points.

Microsoft Edge v.98 will allow users to “mitigate unforeseen active zero days”, the company says, offering an extra layer of protection to keep them safe online.

It's not clear if the new security protections form part of the long-awaited “super duper secure mode” for Microsoft Edge, which launched back in November 2021 as the company looked to boost security for the browser.

Available for Edge v.96 and upwards, the new platform offers two separate configurations – Balanced and Strict – which determine the level of additional protection the user receives. 

Balanced mode learns which sites the user frequents and loosens restrictions on these domains, whereas Strict mode applies restrictions across all websites, which may mean some elements no longer work as intended. Users can also create exceptions manually for websites they would like to be exempt from the extra security measures.

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