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At the start of this year, we reported how a secretive startup founded by ex-Apple employees looked to be creating an Android-powered AR wearable that features a laser-projected display. Humane this morning released a minute-long teaser film that might tease what that projection technology looks like.

Since the start of this month, Humane has been teasing a “film.” “Change Everything” was released on Friday morning on its website and comes in at one minute long: 

Created by Humane. Directed By Ryan Staake. Music: “Everything” by Nas featuring Kanye West & The Dream, courtesy of Mass Appeal.

We see a person surrounded by people looking at their phones and wearing VR headsets in a clear criticism of current consumer technology. Humane has long said its goal is to build “technology that feels familiar, natural, and human,” as well as having a “mission to reimagine computing.”

After looking up, the main character sees a solar eclipse in the shape of Humane’s logo. They critically put their hand up to shield their eyes with their palm facing towards the sun. When they flip and view their hand, there’s a persistent projection of the eclipse/logo.

What appears on their hand very much lines up with a 2020 patent for a “Wearable multimedia device and cloud computing platform with laser projection system.” As we previously wrote:

Rather, the “laser projection system” makes any surface into a display that disappears when it is no longer needed. This, according to patent drawings, includes having the time/date, numpad, turn-by-turn directions, and temperature/thermostat controls projected onto the palm of your hand. Other examples show information overlaid – in true augmented reality fashion – as you’re cooking or working on your car engine. 

Humane’s body-worn wearable could consist of a camera (“180° FOV with OIS” is mentioned as an example specification), 3D camera, and depth sensor (LiDAR or Time of Flight), which are used to recognize “air gestures” made with your hand. Another patent suggests an external battery pack that attaches via magnets to the wearable and is hidden underneath your clothing. It could be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip as Qualcomm Ventures LLC last year participated in Humane’s $100 million Series B round.

  • Humane Android
  • Humane Android
  • Humane Android

Meanwhile, job listings pointed to the wearable running Android (AOSP). Humane has now been in development for several years now, and a public teaser is usually a sign that a launch is coming sooner than later. After the video, you’re invited to “Sign up for exclusive access” by joining a mailing list.

Of course, the question today is how accurate and realistic the laser projection teased today is to the final product. 

Be sure to read our dive into the patents from January.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com