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HP eyed as potential buyer for troubled Humane AI Pin business

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HP eyed as potential buyer for troubled Humane AI Pin business
Humane had only gotten about 10,000 orders for the AI Pin as of early April, despite their goal of selling 100,000 units in their first year.

Tech behemoth HP has surfaced as a possible purchase for wearable AI Pin from AI company Humane, which is apparently looking for a buyer after a rough launch and harsh reviews.

According to the New York Times, HP and Humane, a company started by former Apple executives Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, are in talks about a possible $1 billion acquisition agreement. This comes after news that the floundering business is looking for a purchase for between $750 million and $1 billion, according to sources from The New York Times and Bloomberg.

Since its release, Humane’s AI Pin, a $699 wearable gadget with a laser projection system that promises AI-powered functions, has drawn harsh criticism from critics. The gadget was criticized by reviewers for not living up to expectations, emphasizing issues with battery life, functionality, and overheating. The company also faced backlash after emailing customers about potential fire safety risks associated with the device’s charging case.

The Times claims that Humane fired a senior software engineer in February for raising doubts about the AI Pin’s suitability for launch, purportedly in violation of a corporate guideline that forbids staff from criticizing Humane. This development adds to the unrest. A number of recent and past workers have detailed a corporate culture that valued “positivity over criticism,” claiming Chaudhri and Bongiorno ignored concerns about the device’s technical shortcomings.

As of early April, Humane had only received about 10,000 orders for the AI Pin, despite its goal of selling 100,000 devices in its first year, as reported by The Times.

It’s unclear if HP, which is well-known for having acquired Palm in the past and then dropped the name, will eventually buy Humane. The possible transaction makes me feel like I’ve seen this before, which makes us wonder about the future of Humane’s technology and employees should HP choose to integrate or abandon the AI Pin.

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