An evident prototype astute talker from defunct smartphone shaper Essential has popped up successful an eBay listing spotted by a keen-eyed Redditor. It offers a tantalizing glimpse astatine what the ambitious-yet-unreleased “Essential Home” instrumentality could person been and seems to beryllium partially functional. The listing’s photos amusement the device’s circular surface illuminated, with elements similar its fastener surface and settings menus visible. The seller is asking for $900 positive shipping for the prototype.
If you person nary representation of the Essential Home past we wouldn’t blasted you. The astute talker was announced successful May 2017 alongside the Essential Phone, and the institution told Wired that it hoped to vessel some aboriginal that summer. The telephone would yet release successful August, but the astute talker was obscurity to beryllium found. Essential would yet unopen down in aboriginal 2020 aft releasing conscionable the 1 product.
When it was announced, the Essential Home was meant to bring each disparate astute location ecosystem unneurotic nether a azygous umbrella; a not dissimilar committedness to what Matter is aiming to bash now. It would enactment interaction and dependable controls and could beryllium woken with a glance. Setting timers, controlling your music, and responding to wide involvement questions were each mentioned arsenic imaginable features.
The cardinal to a batch of this functionality was a mysterious caller operating system, called Ambient OS, that would beryllium capable to span antithetic astute location systems and process each its information locally alternatively than offloading it to the cloud. But the eBay listing’s photos suggest that the astute talker is really moving immoderate signifier of Android, which implies that “Ambient OS” whitethorn person been astatine champion a fork, oregon other simply a glorified Android skin.
It’s unclear however functional this prototype is oregon whether a determined developer could coax thing retired of it. But it looks similar a neat hint astatine what could person go of Essential, a institution with truthful overmuch hype that, astatine 1 time, it was valued astatine implicit a cardinal dollars earlier it adjacent shipped its archetypal and past phone.