Essential, the company known for its PH-1 flagship Android phone, could soon be coming back with an innovative new smartphone. The company’s first Android phone wasn’t a success at all, with poor sale numbers resulting in a troubled start for the firm.
When Essential first launched, the company’s founder Andy Rubin, who also happens to be Android’s creator, said the company will build out its own ecosystem of devices. And that might not be happening anymore after the failure of its first product. According to a new report from Bloomberg, the company has reportedly paused development of its home speaker and cancelled the development of a second smartphone.
Instead, it’s apparently building a new kind of device.
Bloomberg device that the new device isn’t like any other smartphone, it’s designed to have a small screen and uses voice commands as the main interaction point. The phone will have AI built-in to automatically get real-world tasks done for the user, including things like replying to text, booking appointments, responding to emails, etc.
The idea obviously sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but with Google building products like Duplex that can automatically call people for you, we may not even need a product that’s entirely focused on such features.
Essential has a lot to worry about here if it does end up eventually releasing the product. 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.
Essential is expected to show the device off as early as CES 2019 in January, with the first prototype expected to be finished by the end of this year.