Andy Rubin, creator of the world-famous Android operating system and CEO of Essential Corporation, tweeted a photo of the new smartphone that the company is apparently working on. Rubin’s tweet does not indicate when a new smartphone will be released. We only know that it is being developed as part of a project called Project Gem, it has a long and thin body, similar to an Apple TV remote control, made in at least four colors – blue, blue, pink and gold – and a display of the same shape.
The body is made with a Colorshift material whose color shade changes at different angles of view. There is a camera on the back of the new smartphone, and under the panel there is a recess in which the fingerprint scanner will probably be located. The main functions of controlling a smartphone will be taken over by a voice assistant with artificial intelligence. The XDA website suggests that the new Essential device will run on a Snapdragon 730 processor.
As Rubin himself pointed out, the device will be different from other phones existing on the market today and will be able to boast an innovative user interface. “New UI for radically different formfactor,” Rubin tweeted.
In an email to Business Insider, Essential spokeswoman Cherie Doherty confirmed that the company is working on a new gadget but has not provided any further details.
“We were working on a new device, which is now at an early stage of testing with our team outside the laboratory,” Doherty said in an email. “We look forward to sharing more information in the near future.”
Rubin introduced the first Essential phone two years ago. The smartphone, however, did not sell well, and Essential reportedly had to cancel the release of the second model last year and lay off 30% of its employees. Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android operating system and former Google executive, has recently been out of the public eye since he was accused of sexual harassment last year.
However, this year he hinted at least twice that Essential has another device in development. For example, in April, when asked by a user on Twitter about whether the company plans to release a new device, he wrote: “What do you think we are doing here? We are a consumer goods company. We are developing interesting things.”
This tweet was his first since October when he posted a link to an article in the New York Times detailing how Google paid him $90 million exit package after Rubin was accused of forcing him to a colleague for oral sex. Rubin denied the accusation on his twitter, calling it and other parts of the story “false”, as well as part of a “slanderous campaign against him”.
Andy Rubin was responsible at Google for the entire mobile division of the company from 2005 to 2013, and then quit. Since 2014, he has been supporting and promoting various start-ups, both third-party and “subsidiary” in relation to Google. This is noticeable even in photographs of the new “banana-phone” or “remote control from the TV”, as commentators on Twitter called it – Boston Dynamics robots are visible on some images.