I bought into the AI hype and all I got was an orange square

Beyond the Alphabet

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Beyond the Alphabet is a weekly column that focuses on the tech world both inside and out of the confines of Mountain View.

In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, Humane is reportedly looking to sell. The same can’t yet be said for Rabbit, but no matter what, don’t buy what these companies are telling you. I did, at least with the Rabbit R1, and it’s looking more and more like I was finally bamboozled.

Getting in on the ground floor with AI gadgets

Rabbit R1 and Galaxy S24 Ultra cameras

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

I’ve been pretty skeptical about devices like the Humane AI Pin and the Rabbit R1. After all, what’s the point when my phone, or smartwatch, is capable of doing almost everything these devices aim to deliver? While I never thought twice about getting the AI Pin, I did buy the R1, mainly because the design looks cool. It also helps that the R1 is $199, without a monthly subscription, while Humane charges $699 and then you have to pay another $25 per month.

Although done in different ways, ultimately, both the AI Pin and R1 essentially aim to become their own AI-powered virtual assistant. With the former, there’s a bunch of cool and unique tech built-in, as you can use your voice or via the “Laser Ink” display that appears in the palm of your hand. As for the latter, it’s more like a phone in that you still have to take it out of your pocket and press the “push-to-talk” button before you can start to use it.

AI pin projection

(Image credit: Humane)

There’s definitely an argument to be made about how the AI Pin is the “better” option of the two. It lets you “enjoy the world around you,” without cranking your neck down to look at your phone while trying to find the closest coffee shop.

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