Despite being a pretty decent smartphone, the first device from Android's co-founder Andy Rubin's company Essential failed to break to break ground and the PH-1 was discontinued. This led to various speculations about the fate of the company. However, not only is the company up and running, but it's also looking to expand as Essential's website has revealed that it has 21 vacancies. While 21 may not sound a lot, it's certainly a big deal for a company which apparently has less than 100 employees.
Apart from a handful of intern and contractual positions, most of the postings are for full-time jobs. It certainly seems that the company is betting big on its camera ambitions, as 5 of the positions that its willing to fill relate to the development of camera systems. These include Camera Hardware Engineer, Computational Imaging Lead, Computer Vision Software Engineer, and Image Quality, Engineer. While it's hard to say what the company has in mind based on the job descriptions alone, it sure seems that the company wants to create new camera modules, build new camera modes and features, and develop software for improving the image and video quality.
At the beginning of this month, a set of images that were apparently created by Essential showed up online and had indicated that the company's next phone, which could be the PH-2, will have the front camera and the light sensor beneath the display. It remains to be seen if the prospective new hires would be working on this alleged camera setup.
Essential is also looking for 7 software engineers who would work on different projects ranging from building the backend for powering the company's online services to building new applications. There is also a mention of optimizing software to leverage new SoC functionality, which is a strong indicator of the fact that a new phone is on the horizon. The company also says that it would be needing new hires to see to the mass production and launch of new products, further hinting at the possibility of new releases in the future.
Other than that, the company is also looking for hardware engineers to lead hardware development and dial down costs. Some analysts believe that the Essential PH-1 could have received a better market response if it carried a lower price tag and reducing the price of its sequel could definitely help Essential achieve a better price to quality ratio and drive sales.
It was previously reported that Essential is working on a new phone that will use artificial intelligence that would help users automate routine tasks such as responding to messages. A smart speaker, presumably Essential Home, was also said to be in the works. The company is now looking to add a Machine Learning/AI Engineer to its team to create products and technologies which will improve the way people communicate with their home devices and services. This means that the company could release various AI-centric devices in the future to compete with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home. Essential is also looking for a product designer and UX engineers, further lending weight to rumors that's its working on new products.
The Essential PH-1 was the first phone to come out with a notch cut out, something which was later cribbed by the entire industry. The phone also has an impressive edge display and shipped with innovative accessories. So, in many ways, the phone was a trendsetter, even though none of those things worked particularly to its advantage as it didn't attract a lot of sales. However, now that Essential is on a hiring spree, one thing is certain: the company has put the first experience behind it and is definitely planning to work on new products. And by the looks of it, it doesn't just seem to be working on the PH-2, we could presumably see an AI device from Essential soon too.