Humane Inc, a startup founded by former Apple Inc (AAPL.O) employees, has announced that it has raised $100 million in its latest funding round. The company was founded in 2018 by Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, both of whom previously worked at Apple. With this latest funding, Humane has now raised $241 million.
Humane's Plans for AI-driven Products
While Humane has yet to disclose what it is building, the company says that it is working on "a software platform and consumer device built from the ground up for artificial intelligence." A video posted by the company and patent filings suggest that a wearable device will project information onto the real world and allow users to manipulate that information with their hands.
Collaborations with OpenAI, Microsoft, LG Electronics, and Volvo Cars Tech Fund
Humane has also announced that it is collaborating with OpenAI, Microsoft, LG Electronics, and Volvo Cars Tech Fund. OpenAI's founder and a previous Humane investor, Sam Altman, participated in the funding round, and Humane will integrate OpenAI's technology into its device. Microsoft, which has built a massive cloud computing infrastructure specifically for AI, took part in the funding round, and Humane will partner with Microsoft's cloud to bring its software services platform to market.
Humane is also working with LG Electronics "on potential (research and development) projects for the next phase of Humane products" and with Volvo Car's Tech Fund on "a potential future collaboration which would be the first example of Humane’s offering being applied to the automotive industry."
Details of Humane's Device
A leaked investor pitch deck from 2021 suggests that Humane is working on a wearable camera device equipped with a camera that "captures moments you didn’t think to capture" or "moments you want to recall." The device would allow users to mark moments by tapping record and have those moments processed on the server so they can recall them in different styles, either as images or videos. The pitch deck also describes the camera's ability to edit together clips in different styles, such as "filmmaking, documentary, lifestyle," and respond to gestures and questions like "What car is that?" or "What is that building?"
Humane's Founders and Leadership Team
Humane was founded in 2018 by Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri, who are described as "husband and wife co-founders." Bongiorno serves as Humane’s CEO, and previously worked on the software engineering side at Apple, while Chaudhri serves as chairman and president at Humane, and was previously a director of design on the Apple human interface team. Humane's chief technology officer is Patrick Gates, who was previously a senior director of engineering at Apple.
The Lifelogging Trend
The idea of lifelogging has been a part of the tech scene for decades, with devices like Autographer and Memento in the early 2010s and cameras like MyMe and Google Clips towards the end of the decade. Humane's rumored product offers similar functionality, using AI to sort and highlight the best footage. However, the trend has never really taken off, either because of privacy concerns, the inconvenience of wearing a camera, or because the end results just weren’t that good.
Humane's latest funding round, which attracted a number of notable investors, has increased anticipation for the company's upcoming product release this spring. With collaborations with OpenAI, Microsoft, LG Electronics, and Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Humane is well-positioned to create AI-driven experiences that feel natural, fun. Let's see what the future holds for this exciting startup.