Essential Not Ready To Call It Quits On Smart Home Ambitions


Smartphone manufacturer Essential may not have gotten off to a great start but is still exploring ways to expand into the smart home industry, a recent patent recently filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) suggests. The newly protected IP aims to offer effortless, seamless home entryway security in an improved, but familiar way, and without the hassles of other systems.

A low-profile smart home approach

In comparison to many offerings currently on the market, Essential's solution to doorway and window security would be relatively low-profile and would appear fairly low-tech at first glance. Based on the patent, the design would be nearly flat, relying on unobtrusive sensors placed on doors, door jams, or windows using adhesive.


The design isn't entirely dissimilar to some other security devices but it isn't the same either. Those other devices are centered around creating and maintaining an infrared signal, laser, or magnetic field with an alarm sounding when either is broken. A device is placed on both the door and door frame or on the window and window frame. The two devices sound an alarm when either the signal or magnetic field is broken.

Essential's patented technology would utilize similar methods but would be based on measurable distances. In effect, it would be able to tell how far away the sensors are from one another and how far open a door or window is. That way, it can be set to sound an alarm only at certain levels of openness, in addition to sending notifications to end users as part of a larger smart home environment or as a standalone security solution.

Notifications are shown as being sent to a smartphone or other smart home device such as a display-enabled smart home hub.


The company also went a step further to ensure that they don't stick out too, preventing potential damage from daily use and making them less of an eyesore for homeowners or renters.

Rising above prominent failures

Essential has not had a great start, breaking with several promises including bringing new products into the smart home space. For example, the company had planned to launch a new connected home platform based on an entirely new operating system. That was expected to launch on a brand new smartphone as well, before circumstances put the project on hold in October.


The company's second smartphone seemed to be placed in question too, with the whole ordeal following allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against CEO Andy Rubin. Rubin stepped down temporarily during an investigation before rejoining the company later on but the fact that Essential's first smartphone effectively bombed didn't help matters either. That handset was plagued by a lack of optimizations and half-finished software. Although fixed later on through updates, the damage had been done.

There's no guarantee that the company will ever release the product that's been patented and software for the solution hasn't been indicated in the documentation. Regardless, it does seem to indicate that Essential is ready to try again, albeit from a much more straightforward starting point.