Is a wearable AI camera being secretly developed by ex-Apple directors?

New Humane AI wearable camera in development
Screenshot from promotional video by Humane (Image credit: Humane)

Back in 2019, ex-Apple executives Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno set out to build their own startup technology platform to rival the big-name competitors. Called Humane, this company and AI platform is said to be intended for people who want a healthier relationship with their technology. 

The husband and wife duo have been testing the waters and drip-feeding details on the project for quite some time now. However, rumor has it that the big endeavor that Humane is working on might actually be a wearable AI camera in a smartwatch format, that can operate without a smartphone and recall memories!

• These are the best wearable body cameras available right now

It seems that the world of technology as we know it is about to change - and we couldn't be more excited. Humane's outstanding new camera technology could assist with our daily lives and record our key memories – or resemble a Black Mirror episode, depending on how you look at it. 

Imran Chaudhri was the former director of design at Apple and can be credited for inventing the groundbreaking user interface of the iPhone software, as well as designing numerous products such as the iPod, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch. Bethany Bongiorno, meanwhile, was previously the ex-director of Software Engineering at Apple, making them both the ultimate dream team of modern tech.

Leaked 2021 investor pitch slide (Image credit: Humane / Daring Fireball)

A 2021 investor pitch has leaked online that shows a slide deck from Humane during financing rounds, advertising what appears to be a new wearable camera gadget. The leaked slides (courtesy of Daring Fireball), are super blurry but show details of a cloud-connected and sight-enabled AI platform, with an app ecosystem that has features such as social media streaming, cloud storage, digital assistance, AI-guided mediation, video memory recall, and senior / elder monitoring. 

This all might seem a little futuristic and farfetched to some, but this level of design and engineering is actually very plausible – and the recent accumulative funding of $230 million that the company has raised thus far from investors is enough to suggest that this wearable AI assistant with eyes might just take off.  

Recent mysterious promotional content released by Humane suggests that we might see a prototype as early as this spring. And, if Humane’s 2020 patent filings are anything to go by, it might feature a laser projection system(spotted by 9to5mac) for displaying screenless visuals, promoting minimal user interactions with displays to focus more on family and life. 

Screenshot from promotional video by Humane (Image credit: Humane)

Two previous rounds of financing earned the company a total of $130 million back in 2020 and 2021, with Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, and Microsoft listed as lead investors. In more recent news, though, Humane managed to raise a further $100 million this month from a fourth (Series C) funding round (via Crunchbase).

The Post-Smartphone Era and How AI will Change Everything

The above video shows an almost 20-minute video of Chaudhri explaining how our relationship with technology has become demanding and led to an age of digital fatigue. Chaudhri believes that technology should be designed to help us focus on humanity, and promises new technologies with trust at the very center. 

It's not completely clear what Humane actually is, or what it's capable of just yet, with the company having kept things tightly under wraps since its formation. But the team comprises industry and technology experts as well as numerous ex-Apple employees alongside Chaudhri and Bongiorno, and proposes a focus on both hardware and software in an effort to create the world's first AI hardware and services platform.

leaked investor pitch slide (Image credit: Humane / Daring Fireball)

Is this something you would ever wear instead of carrying around your smartphone? As long as it doesn't replace our cameras, we're cool with it. 

You might also be interested in the best AI image generators, as well as the best spy cameras and best camera glasses for inconspicuous photography. 

Take a look at these Top 10 AI tools in Photoshop, and also the best iPhone for photography, designed by Apple, and not forgetting the best camera phones in 2023 for ultimate smartphone photography.

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.