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The Verdict is in

No, not the trail of Donald Trump, but that new tech product that was such a huge rage last year when it was announced at a TED conference. As I wrote in my column at the time, the product, called the AI Pin, was going to be one of the biggest embarrassments of all time. It was a device you clipped on your shirt and it was to be used to make inquiries, phone calls, send messages, and most importantly, use AI to answer your questions. It was a being developed by Humane, a well funded startup with many ex-Apple employees. To me it had all the makings of a really dumb idea. It made little sense, cost a small fortune, and was trying to solve a problem no one had. And its implementation was a bit short of idiotic.

Well, the product finally reached the market last week, first in the hand of selected tech reviewers. The reviews pretty much panned the product, mostly because it didn’t work, overheated, ran through batteries, returned answers that were often wrong, and it’s tiny projection screen couldn’t be used outside.

Most of the reviewers described all of the issues they had and tempered their findings with comments from the company, saying they are aware of the problems and a software fix is in the works. But none recommended purchasing one, certainly not at the $799 plus $24 per month for phone service.

Marques Brownlee, one of the most watched YouTube reviewers and a very talented reviewer, panned it and said it was the worst product he ever reviewed.

The latest controversy now is that he is being criticized for damaging a company with such a scathing review. But, he was just being honest and providing very useful information to his followers, something that needs no apology.

The real scandal is how can supposedly smart people release a product that does nothing well and fails to deliver most of what it promises. As I noted months ago, this is one of the biggest embarrassments of both the product and the company behind it.