Andy Rubin, the man behind the Android operating system is planning for a new startup that he will call Essential. Two years after he left Google, Rubin will combine his expertise in software with artificial intelligence in a risky business of consumer hardware. He has a 40-person team composed of recruits from Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google.
Essential is working on a suite of hardware products, one for mobile and the other for smart home markets. The centerpiece of the system will be a high-end Smartphone with the large edge-to-edge screen that does not include a surrounding bezel. At a Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early this January, Rubin discussed his idea of a Smartphone with executives from mobile carriers than include Sprint Corp.
According to some people who are in the know, the prototype of Rubin’s phone has a screen that is larger than that of iPhone7 Plus which measures 5.5 inches. However, the phone has a smaller footprint because of the absence of a bezel. At present, the startup is experimenting whether it can enable the phone’s screen to sense different levels of pressure, a characteristic of the iPhone. Tests are also being made on metal edges and back made from ceramic.
It is still unclear if Rubin’s device will use the Android operating system but the Smartphone is definitely aimed for the high-end market that Apple Inc happens to lead. The device is expected to include high-end materials with the capability to gain new hardware features over time. Rubin is convinced that artificial intelligence is the next big thing that will happen in the technology industry.
At a Bloomberg Technology Conference that was held in June, Rubin said that new computing platforms are usually introduced every 10 to 12 years. The new platform will be about data and people who will be trained for artificial intelligence systems.
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