Ambient OS-powered Essential Home goes after Amazon Echo with exciting promises and a privacy focus
You didn’t really think such an influential figure in the inception and evolution of the mobile industry as we know it today as Andy Rubin would simply unveil a new smartphone as he tries to revolutionize the tech world again, now, did you?
The “Essential” initiative, as it turns out, is about way more than an arguably great-looking phone and even a fresh ecosystem of magnetically-attaching accessories. There’s also an OS dubbed Ambient to eagerly await, as well as an obligatory Amazon Echo and Google Home rival.
But the Essential Home is apparently different, smartening up your house without “boxes, tubes or strange lights.” Indeed, renders show a “friendlier face” for a stylish, more discreet device with a round “auto-display” aiming to blend “into any home environment while providing seamless access to multiple types of information and services.”
The problem is all we have right now are a few renders, many promises and a mission that sounds a tad overambitious for what’s ultimately a startup company. It’s almost like Essential doesn’t know exactly what it wants to do here, vaguely and pompously flaunting the “choreography” of Ambient OS in “bringing the home to life.”
One thing that seems crystal clear, and a lot of people will be excited about, is Rubin’s focus on privacy, as the Essential Home is designed to “directly talk to your devices over your in-home network as much as possible in order to limit sending data to the cloud.”
Otherwise, there’s far too much we don’t know about “proactive assistants”, “AI engines”, “contextual information”, that “auto-display”, voice, tap and “even glance” interaction or what third-party products this will support to tell if Amazon truly has something to worry about here.