Andy Rubin's ambitious Essential Products startup has been essentially inactive for over a year now, merely promising (and delivering) robust software support for its rookie smartphone effort, which never found the mainstream success envisioned by its creator.
"The design of the new mobile device isn't like a standard smartphone", reads the report. After launching its first phone a year ago, the company has not yet announced its plan for the next device. It will reportedly have an inbuilt AI software would mimic the owner, automatically booking appointments, responding to emails and text messages, and more.
Previously there were reports about the company working on its second smartphone as well as a smart home speaker.
As a result, it would apparently have a smaller screen than most smartphones, since you won't need to directly interact with it as much, and numerous interactions that you do have would be voice-based. As a result, Essential expects to market the product as a complement to people's smartphones or as a phone for those who want to spend less time tethered to their screens.
In an interview with Bloomberg past year, Rubin suggested a benevolent incentive for embarking on a project along these lines. Using voice as the main input point not only presents privacy concerns, but it's also a technical challenge around voice recognition that even companies like Google are struggling to master. It seems that the concept of your phone being a virtual version of you can become true and let you enjoy several activities without the need to have your device in your hands.
Essential has a lot to worry about here if it does end up eventually releasing the product. The person said the company may show off the device to industry partners as soon as January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the same venue where it talked up its original phone previous year.