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Knowledge May 30, 2024 Trend Report: "Learning from Human AI Pin, Smartphone Replacement Gadgets"

KDDI America

The Emergence of AI-Powered Gadgets to Replace Smartphones

Since the appearance of the iPhone in 2007, smartphones have undergone a revolutionary evolution, but now, more than 15 years later, AI-equipped gadgets have appeared to replace them and are attracting attention in the market.Since Humane introduced the AI Pin in November 2023, the development of AI-powered gadgets has been in full swing. In January 2024, Rabbit announced the Rabbit R1.

During some of the world's largest technology conferences, such as CES and MWC, AI Pin have attracted the attention. AI Pin has already partnered with SoftBank and SK Telecom to sign exclusive distribution agreements in Japan and South Korea, respectively. These gadgets aim to enhance the user experience through a more interactive and intuitive voice-based interface. In this article, the AI Pin that I pre-ordered has finally arrived, so I will report on the actual user experience and market evaluation!

Nuro R3 EV

Product & Functional Overview

The AI Pin is a palm-sized square shaped gadget that can be attached to a chest pocket of a garment with a magnet. There is no screen, and most of the functions are voice-based, but they are not activated by voice alone. It requires the action of touching the touchpad. The wide-angle camera allows you to recognize movements such as moving your palm back and forth or pinching your fingers.

Here's a summary of what you can do with AI Pin:

  • Answer questions with voice commands.
  • You can use the built-in camera to recognize objects and texts and add descriptions to them.
  • It has a translation function for about 50 languages.
  • The interface can be projected with a laser in the palm of your hand.
  • Can recognize gesture operations (tilting the palm, pinching, etc.)
  • Capture still images and 15-second videos.

Market Ratings and Impressions

In local tech geek YouTubers and media articles in the United States, there are overwhelmingly many criticisms of the fact that there are fewer functions than expected.

The main reviews are as follows (including some of my personal impressions):


  • Product and package designs are sophisticated.
  • Being able to control the device from palm of one's hand gives a futuristic feel.


  • Performance is still not stable, such as inaccurate speech recognition, limited functionality, overheating, and connectivity issues.
  • There are many situations where basic tasks such as identifying restaurants, providing weather information, and understanding the context are not recognized.
  • It lacks in full connectivity capability, such as a phone app, making it difficult to manage some services and fails to completely replace smartphones.
  • The battery drains rapidly, and the main unit tends to accumulate heat. In addition, it has a long charging time.
  • The linkage with smartphones and settings are web-based, and the lack of a dedicated app makes AI Pin less accessible.

Certainly, the vision was an innovative concept of a wearable AI assistant that possibly replaced smartphones, but considering the current performance and usability, I felt that it was far from being enough to replace smartphones. However, according to an announcement by Humane, various features will be updated in the summer of 2024, so we look forward to future developments. I'm also looking forward to seeing the other innovative gadgets to hit the market!


That is it for this month’s Trend Report!

KDDI Open Innovation Fund will continue to discover next generation startups that will create a better future for all.

KDDI America, Inc.

 KDDI America is the US subsidiary of KDDI Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company and is growing communications carrier with a proven track record in Japan and a longstanding reputation for quality and reliability. KDDI America provides a wide range of High Quality Services such as Communications, Data Centers and Solution Services throughout the world.

Writer / Interviewer

KDDI America
一色 望 / Nozomi Isshiki

 Nozomi has been responsible for creating innovative partnerships with companies that are often startups, which we call it a "Deal Sourcing." She is also working for the creation of MUGENLABO Magazine.
Her hobbies are trend searching, finding tasty restaurants, traveling, and working out.