Android Co-Founder Andy Rubin's Essential Team Reportedly Building AI-Powered Smartphone

Essential is reportedly working on a 'new kind of phone' with a mind of its own

The new phones AI would be able to perform many tasks as though it were the user, including "book appointments or respond to emails and text messages on its own". However, the report adds that the users would also be able to make phone calls using this device. Per Bloomberg, the phone would be similar to the devices in the sci-fi movie Her, in which a human falls in love with an operating system that powers all his devices, including a pocketable phone with no screen. The Essential Phone was delayed and the Essential Phone 2 was reportedly canceled. Essential didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Although Essential is yet to confirm any of the aforementioned speculations, Rubin did drop a hint about such a device previous year in an interview with Bloomberg.

He says the phone will be a "virtual version" of users that can "do things on your behalf" without even touching while they go about enjoying life or having dinner.

Andy Rubin, who helped create the Android operating system that Google acquired in 2005, is said to be working on an AI-powered device meant to fight the smartphone addiction he once helped foster.

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Given that Essential hasn't been performing well in the market and has received several setbacks in recent times. But the Essential Phone struggled to sell due to its relatively high price and software bugs. 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. Rubin denied claims of sexual misconduct and took a brief leave of absence from Essential last November. According to a report, the company is putting most of its projects aside to focus on the development of this new handset. But now it seems that the speaker idea is on hold. Rubin imagined it as a single hub with its own voice-command technology that could run queries through Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant - a feat that would likely require cooperation from three competitors.

Rubin has already achieved one of the biggest feats by the laying the foundation of the modern smartphone business with Android. Essential aims to have a first prototype of the phone finished by the end of the year, a person familiar with its development said.

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