Android creator plans to build AI-centered smartphone

Android maker Andy Rubin has been out of Google for over two years already but it looks like he’s kept busy and is planning to re-enter the segment he left. Rumour has it Rubin is planning to launch a company that’ll produce a high-end smartphone that will focus on artificial intelligence and have a bezel-free screen and ceramic back. The company, which will be called Essential, has been registered by Rubin as “Essential Products Inc.” in California back in November 2015. The word “Essential” has also been submitted at the end of last year to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with smartphones, tablets, and mobile OS software as part of the outfit’s goods and services. The company is supposedly composed of around 40 people with a lot of them recruited from both Apple and Google.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, Essential is working on a suite of devices for the mobile and smart home markets. And Rubin was allegedly talking to carrier executives at CES this year. The phone itself, while still in prototype, is said to have a display bigger than 5.5 inches but it’ll be smaller in size because of the lack of bezels. It’ll supposedly have a pressure-sensitive interface (a la Apple’s 3D Touch), ceramic back, and a magnetic connector that isn’t just for charging. The connector will also supposedly support accessories like a spherical 360-degree camera Essential is reportedly working on.

It isn’t clear yet how AI will fit into the phone but Rubin has been saying that AI is “the next platform” and it’ll be about “data and people training AI systems to learn.” The phone is supposedly coming as soon as mid-2017 with a price tag close to the iPhone 7’s US$649. But we can’t say yet.

Source: Apple Insider


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