At the Google I/O 2018 event, company's CEO Sundar Pichai showcased how their AI-powered Google Assistant was successfully able to book an appointment at a salon. For some, the chat was worrisome, while others welcomed the innovation. It seems that Andy Rubin, the creator of Android OS, was among those who were left flabbergasted by the development. According to Bloomberg, Rubin is currently working on a phone that will try to mimic the user and automatically respond to emails and text messages. In addition, people familiar with the plan claim that the AI onboard the phone is capable of booking appointments as well.
Essential Products Inc. has reportedly set most of its ongoing projects aside to focus on developing the new phone. “The company paused development of a planned home speaker, months after canceling a different smartphone that had been in the works,” Bloomberg cited people who asked to remain unidentified. “Sales of an earlier phone were disappointing, and the company is abandoning the effort partly because the product is too similar to others on the market. Essential had considered selling itself this year after a series of setbacks,” the news platform added.
The new smartphone will reportedly feature a small screen and require users to interact primarily using voice commands, even when it comes to making phone calls, the report claimed, adding that the planned device could be “Essential’s last hope to break into a market dominated by Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.” As per Bloomberg, Rubin hinted at the device in an interview last year. “If I can get to the point where your phone is a virtual version of you, you can be off enjoying your life, having that dinner, without touching your phone, and you can trust your phone to do things on your behalf,” he said.
Rubin founded Android Inc. in Palo Alto, California, in October 2003, along with Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White. Android was pitched against Nokia’s Symbian OS but was struggling to attract investors. In July 2005, Google acquired Android Inc and Rubin later developed a mobile device platform powered by the Linux kernel. Google marketed the platform to handset makers and carriers on the promise of providing a flexible and upgradeable system. However, later In 2014, Rubin left Google and in the subsequent year he founded Essential Products Inc. In November 2017, he took a leave of absence from Essential after there were reports of his involvement in sexual harassment during his time at Google, which he denies. In the first half of this year, Rubin reportedly put Essential Products Inc. up for sale and also cancelledd a second version of the Essential Phone.