Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Essential’s next phone could use AI to manage your life

Essential wants to make a grand statement after the PH-1 smartphone failed to inspire Essential wants to make a grand statement after the PH-1 smartphone failed to inspire
Katie Ramirez | 12 October, 2018, 12:40

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.

Bloomberg reports that Essential is focusing on AI for whatever smartphone is coming next. Think of it as an AI-powered device with a tiny screen that is supposed to reply to your text messages as it was you and make calls on your behalf.Credit: Brian Ach/Getty ImagesThe Essential Phone PH-1 was a attractive disaster that nobody wanted to buy and even less people knew about. Citing sources familiar with the company's plans, the report said that the handset will have a small display and be controlled primarily using voice commands. You'll also be able to use it to make calls, says Bloomberg. It's being described as an AI-powered device with a design that "sounds a bit like the sci-fi movie Her".

In an interview with Bloomberg a year ago, Rubin suggested a benevolent incentive for embarking on a project along these lines.

More news: Venezuela opposition lawmaker dies in prison

"If I can get to the point where your phone is a virtual version of you, you can be off enjoying your life, having that dinner, without touching your phone, and you can trust your phone to do things on your behalf", Mr Rubin told Bloomberg in an interview previous year. He was even accused of sexual misconduct when working at Google, followed by him putting the company up for sale.

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.

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