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Tech Tumbles and Triumphs: The Humane Ai Pin’s Downfall and Wilson Audio’s Pricy Comeback



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Ashworth Boone

The Prospects for the Humane Ai Pin Continue to Diminish

The journey of the Humane Ai pin through this year has been less than favorable. Marketed as a revolutionary lapel pin that could project holograms and serve as an alternative to smartphones, the device has unfortunately emerged as a disappointing and inferior product. Following considerable promotional buildup, the Pin's launch was met with widespread criticism. Reviewers pointed out several significant issues, including a hefty $700 price tag for a gadget missing essential functionalities, a tendency to overheat, and a projector feature that failed to perform in daylight conditions. Only weeks after its release, the executives at Humane were already exploring options to sell the company.

This week, the situation surrounding the troubled tech gadget has deteriorated further. A report by The New York Times uncovered a series of disorganized and hasty decisions made by Humane's leadership, contributing to the market release of a defective product. Key issues highlighted include the company's awareness of the gadget's poor battery life and the excessive heat produced by its laser display, to the extent that staff resorted to using ice packs for cooling. Adding to the concerns, The Verge had reported just a day prior to The Times' publication that Humane had issued warnings to its customers advising them against using the provided charging cases due to fire hazards. Furthermore, the reports suggest that company executives turned a deaf ear to internal feedback, which might have identified numerous functional shortcomings of the device. The Times noted that Humane managed to sell about 10,000 units, falling short of its initial target of 100,000 devices.

This week brought some uplifting developments from the world of consumer technology.

Feast Your Eyes on These Canines

Introducing the 2024 version of Wilson Audio's WATT/Puppy sound systems

Wilson Audio is reviving its legendary, Dalek-inspired WATT/Puppy speakers, poised to captivate your auditory senses, delight your visual senses, and make a significant dent in your finances. Initially crafted in 1985 by the company's founder, David Wilson, with the intent of mimicking the audio quality of his bespoke studio speakers in a more travel-friendly format, these elegantly designed units integrate four drivers within two tiered enclosures. The upper section (termed the WATT) encompasses a convergent synergy carbon tweeter and a 7-inch alnico midrange driver, whereas the lower section (known as the Puppy) houses two 8-inch woofers made from a cellulose composite material.

Sure, I'll need the

Authored by Eric Ravenscraft

Authored by Julian Chokkattu

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Every set of speakers stands approximately 42 inches in height.

The latest version of the WATT/Puppy speakers marks their first makeover since 2011. However, acquiring a pair isn't inexpensive, with prices exceeding $53,000 (or £41,998 for those in the UK). The design offers customization options, including the choice of grille colors and various hardware components, allowing for the creation of unique sets. Additionally, the speakers can be fitted with spikes at the base to almost completely isolate them from vibrations, ensuring the sound remains tight, especially when playing the deep tones of Walter Becker on a 180-gram audiophile vinyl Aja remaster.

Elon's Financial Windfall

It seems Elon Musk has a penchant for wealth, judging by his current endeavor to lock in a staggering $56 billion compensation package for continuing his role as the CEO of the electric car giant Tesla.

On June 13, Tesla investors are set to decide on the massive compensation deal for the planet's wealthiest individual. The situation has sparked a heated debate, with Tesla's board chairman urging investors to greenlight the financial package to prevent Musk from departing to potentially more lucrative ventures. In a predictable turn, Musk has been openly criticizing those Tesla investors who have voiced their intention to reject the expensive proposal.

In a different episode of Elon Musk's ventures, The Wall Street Journal disclosed that Musk rerouted a delivery of Nvidia AI processors intended for Tesla to the premises of another one of his ventures, the social platform previously identified as Twitter, which has now been somewhat controversially rebranded as X.

Exploring AI Summaries

Google's recent ventures into artificial intelligence have once again stirred controversy among internet users. The company has introduced AI Summaries, concise write-ups that appear atop the search results for certain queries on Google. These are designed to quickly provide searchers with a direct answer to their queries. However, the accuracy of these summaries is questionable, as they often contain errors or present misleading information. Moreover, this feature poses a significant challenge to websites reliant on traffic from search results, including virtually all news and media outlets, by potentially reducing the need for users to visit their websites directly.

In this week's episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, WIRED contributors Kate Knibbs and Reece Rogers come onboard to discuss the transformation in online information discovery due to AI summaries, Google's strategy in deploying this feature, and the implications of these summaries potentially repurposing your content.

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