“The iPhone killer.”

In today’s society, it seems increasingly unlikely that anything comes along to earn that title.

But that neglects the innovation that occurs beneath the surface of the economy in the landscape of startups.

And just like incumbent mobile phone makers were taken by storm by Apple’s foray into the industry back in the early 2000s, there could be a similar revolution taking place right now.

Ironically, it is being heralded by Apple’s former operating system director of design.

Well, the world got its first glimpse of this mysterious technology – a wearable device – during a recent TED Talk, and it’s got the tech world buzzing.

The startup is called Humane, and while the details have been guarded like a state secret since its inception in 2016, we are now becoming more familiar with its capabilities.

Meanwhile, it should probably come as no surprise that this startup is squarely in the artificial intelligence space.

In the same way that OpenAI has Google quaking in its boots, Humane believes it can have the same affect on the world of smartphones.

While not a smartphone per se, Humane’s device – at least during the TED Talk – sat in co-founder (and former Apple exec) Imran Chaudri’s front breast pocket.

Featuring a sensor that can project text and interactive graphics onto your palm and a camera, the device successfully translated from English to French (generating the response in Chaudri’s voice, no less), it gave a summary of Chaudri’s schedule for the day, it received and answered a phone call from his wife, and it analyzed the ingredients of a candy bar to determine whether it was compatible with Chaudri’s diet and allergies.

In total, this glimpse serves as a teaser for a device that seems to offer a wide variety of novel applications.

However, there still remain more questions than answers for how the device actually works, and some remain skeptical that it will be the “iPhone killer” it touts itself as.

“For the human-technology relationship to actually evolve beyond screens, we need something radically different,” Chaudri said.

As we all know, the world of startups is no stranger to the radically different. It’s what makes the space so darn exciting.

We look forward to learning more about the work Humane and company are doing.

You can watch portions of Chaudri’s TED Talk here.