Humane, Rabbit Failed To Impress, Can Google-Backed Iyo's Gen AI Earbuds Succeed Where Others Stumbled?

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The AI industry has seen its fair share of ups and downs, with some of the most anticipated hardware products failing to meet expectations. Now, Iyo, a company that has been working on its AI earbuds for years, is ready to launch its product, the Iyo One, and is confident that it will succeed where others have failed.

What Happened: Similar to Humane and Rabbit, Iyo was founded before the current AI hype. The company’s origins go back to the pre-2019 era.

However, unlike Humane, which tried to create a brand new type of device with a lapel pin, Iyo is adding its technology to something very popular already: Bluetooth earbuds, reported TechCrunch.

When the Iyo One comes out this winter, the company can use the years of consumer experience with assistants like Alexa and Siri in headphones. Moving to advanced AI models is much easier than something like the Ai Pin, which needs a completely new way of thinking.

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The company’s CEO, Jason Rugolo, believes that the Iyo One will be a success because of its unique features and the company’s focus on delivering immediate value to its customers.

The Iyo One will not require a monthly subscription fee unlike Humane Ai Pin, a model that Rugolo believes is not the best for customers. However, the cellular version will require users to sign up for a plan with their carriers, which is standard practice.

“That kind of model is really something that comes from venture,” Rugolo said, adding, “They try to drive the companies hard to get people locked in. I don't like that model. It's not the best for customers.” The Iyo One will be priced at $599 for the Wi-Fi model and $699 for the cellular version.

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Why It Matters: While Humane generated significant interest due to its founders’ experience at Apple, Iyo was created within Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG GOOGL Google. The company originated in Alphabet X, the “moonshot factory” responsible for projects like Glass and Project Loon.

Iyo became an independent entity in 2021. Unlike other Alphabet X projects like Waymo, Wing, and Intrinsic, Iyo does not function as a subsidiary. Instead, Alphabet became Iyo’s first investor.

Previously, it was reported that Alphabet’s X lab is developing a device that aims to provide superhuman hearing. The project, codenamed “Wolverine,” was reportedly exploring the future of hearing with sensor-rich hardware, according to Business Insider.

Meanwhile, The failure of Humane’s Ai Pin and Rabbit’s R1 has raised questions about the future of AI devices. Previously, it was reported that Humane’s co-founders have put their startup on the market, just a month after launching their product.

Similarly, Rabbit’s R1, a generative AI-fueled handheld, was heavily criticized and failed to meet expectations.

Image: Shutterstock/ Magnetic Mcc

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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