Humane tells users to stop using Ai Pin Case due to fire risk

(Bloomberg) — Startup Humane Inc. asked users to stop using the charging case of its Ai Pin device due to a fire risk, adding further uncertainty to the product’s troubled rollout.

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The company told owners of the device that it had identified a “quality issue” with the battery inside the case, which allows users to charge their Ai Pins on the go. Humane said it launched an investigation after receiving a single report of charging issues with the device, which debuted earlier this year.

The problem represents another setback for Humane, a leading startup that set out to create an alternative to the smartphone. Since its launch in April, the Ai Pin has been criticized by customers and reviewers for its clunky interface and lack of features. Following the rocky introduction, the startup reached out to large tech companies and consulting firms in hopes of selling for several hundred million dollars, Bloomberg reported.

The charging case, which works similarly to an AirPods case, is included in the package when a user purchases the Ai Pin for $699 and up. It’s also sold as a standalone accessory for $149. The part is now marked as “out of stock” on the Humane website.

“Our investigation has determined that the battery supplier no longer meets our quality standards and that there is a potential that certain battery cells supplied by this supplier pose a fire risk,” the company said in a statement released Wednesday on its website. “As a result, we have immediately disqualified this battery supplier while we work to identify a new supplier to avoid such issues and maintain our high quality standards.”

Humane said users can continue to charge the device with the included home charging station. The company did not say whether it would replace charging cases owned by Ai Pin owners or how long it would take to find a replacement supplier. This gives Ai Pin owners two free months of the required monthly subscription in light of the issue.

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