Essential Products, the consumer electronics startup run by Android creator Andy Rubin, is putting most projects aside to focus on development of a new kind of phone that will try to mimic the user and automatically respond to messages on their behalf, according to people familiar with the plans.
The company paused development of a planned home speaker, months after cancelling a different smartphone that had been in the works, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Sales of an earlier phone were disappointing, and the company is abandoning the effort partly because the product is too similar to others on the market. Essential had considered selling itself this year after a series of setbacks.
The design of the new mobile device isn’t like a standard smartphone. It would have a small screen and require users to interact mainly using voice commands, in concert with Essential’s artificial-intelligence software. The idea is for the product to book appointments or respond to emails and text messages on its own, according to the people familiar with the plans. Users would also be able to make phone calls from the planned device.
If this all sounds a bit like the sci-fi movie “Her,” that’s sort of by design. Rubin would like to capture people’s imagination with a product that’s truly different from alternatives. The planned device, which hasn’t been previously reported, could be Essential’s last hope to break into a market dominated by Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. A spokeswoman for Essential declined to comment.
News Source : https://www.hindustantimes.com