In short: According to a report that surfaced this morning, Andy Rubin – the creator of Android – and his company Essential Products Inc., is working on a new kind of smartphone. One that uses artificial intelligence to mimic the user's behavior and do things like text people for the user. The report also mentions that the design of this new smartphone won't look like any other smartphone on the market It's going to have a small display, and will require the user to interact with the phone, largely using their voice. Using Essential's artificial intelligence software, you would be doing everything on this phone using your voice. The idea here wouldn't be to spend hours browsing through Facebook and Twitter, but instead to make appointments, send text messages and even make phone calls, all of which can be done with your voice.
Background: Essential unveiled its first smartphone last year. It garnered a lot of attention because the company was headed up by the founder of Android, so it was a pretty big deal. It was also the first smartphone with a notch. However, the Essential PH-1 (pronounced "Phone") had a very small notch, just for the camera. Otherwise, the entire front was all display. Many enjoyed the Essential PH-1 because it was a stock Android smartphone, with high-end specs, but the price did turn many away. It finally dropped by $200 to $499 earlier this year, and became a pretty popular device. But Essential is reportedly not to happy with the sales of that device, so it had cancelled the successor to that smartphone and is now working on this new AI-focused device, with all other projects shelved for now.
Impact: Artificial Intelligence is in virtually every aspect of our lives already, and using artificial intelligence to do things like send text messages for us wouldn't be all that surprising. However, Essential is looking to do more than just that with this new smartphone, and basically using artificial intelligence to do everything that we do with our smartphones. Which could be a very interesting thing.