In 2017, two of Apple’s top design and technology executives decided to leave the company to start their own venture with an ambitious vision: to create the next big computing paradigm. That startup, called Humane, is now announcing that it has raised $30 million in a series A round of venture funding to continue developing its mysterious product. While cofounders Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno refuse to reveal what they’re working on, its cofounders seem to believe it will have the same kind of impact as the iPhone—which is saying a lot, given that one of them designed the iPhone’s original interface.
“We are at a point in terms of computing platforms where there’s a certain level of maturation that’s led to a decline in innovation,” says Humane president and chairman Chaudhri, who worked on the UI design of the iPhone and the iPad during his 21 years at Apple. “For us, it’s really about how we actually bring vitality and how we bring a new opportunity to computing. How do we move the needle?”
It’s impossible to have an opinion about the potential impact of Humane’s creation until it reveals at least some details. Tony Fadell, who spearheaded the iPod and also helped bring us the iPhone, left Apple over a decade ago and soon after started talking about “a product that could have a huge impact on a big problem,” as he told The New York Times in 2011. His startup Nest’s creation turned out to be a thermostat. But Humane is certainly dialing up the expectations for whatever it’s working on.