Humane’s AI Pin Could Authenticate With Your Heartbeat

The filing provides a peek at Humane’s debut device ahead of its reveal in mid-November.

Photo by Rajat Bhardwaj under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Humane wants to make sure your sweater won’t get in the way of innovation. 

The startup filed a patent application for a system to wirelessly charge and communicate with a portable device “through clothing.” Essentially, Humane’s filing details what looks to be a magnetic pin with the charger on one side of the cloth and the device on the other, allowing its wearer to charge it on the go. 

The system uses a “magnetic communication protocol” to allow for bidirectional communication between the battery pack and the device itself, to give its wearer “battery status indicators” as well as other data, though humane doesn’t go into detail about what “other data” means. This system relies on “pulsing,” or turning on and off the charger to create variation in the magnetic field between the battery pack and the device, which are used to “transmit and receive short messages.” 

The battery pack can also be a physical authenticator, rendering the main device itself at least partially inoperable without being attached to its other half. The device couldn’t be used with another battery pack, as it could only be paired with an “authenticated portable battery pack and vice versa.” The device would also need to be worn to operate, as it monitors “heart beat signals” as part of its authentication, and becomes inoperable “when the heart beat signal terminates.”

“Although conventional battery packs mate well with mobile phones and tablet computers placed on a surface, conventional battery packs are not convenient to use with wearable devices, such as a body-worn camera,” Humane noted in the filing. 

Photo via the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

This filing adds to the dozens of Humane patents that recently became public, which covered everything from projected virtual hand and fingernail interfaces to message composition and wayfinding tools. This patent gives a look at how Humane plans on tackling privacy with its upcoming device, dubbed the Humane AI Pin. 

The startup has yet to release many details on its highly anticipated pin, but CEO and founder Imran Chaudhri debuted some of its features for the first time publicly at a TED talk, including making a phone call and translating his words into French in real-time. Chaudhri noted that the pin would use machine learning to get better with use, calling it an “ever-evolving, personalized form of memory.”

For the first time since Chaudhri’s TED talk, Humane’s device made a public appearance at Paris Fashion Week: Naomi Campbell and a few other models wore the pins down the runway at the Coperni show in late September. The display also marked the first time that the device was seen worn by someone outside of the company. 

The show didn’t demonstrate any features of Humane’s pin, but the company did take the opportunity to announce that a full reveal would take place on November 9. Humane also gave a hints at how it will work: The “screenless, standalone device and software platform” will not need to be paired with a smartphone to operate, uses “AI-powered optical recognition and a laser-projected display,” and is “privacy-first,” as it will not need a wake word to operate.

Chaudhri said in a statement regarding the Coperni collaboration,“our relationship with technology is changing profoundly, becoming even more personal as our devices morph into extensions of our bodies, minds and hearts.” Given that this patent suggests the AI pin will authenticate with your heart beat, it seems Humane is taking that sentiment seriously.