Essential is still alive, and it's reportedly working on a new device. And, no, it's not another Essential Phone.
Instead, this device will uniquely use artificial intelligence to essentially copy you and respond for you, according to Bloomberg, which described the yet-to-be-announced device as something desigend to free people from their phones. It'd feature a small screen and would work mostly through voice commands. It'd also have a built-in AI that would learn you and call and email and text on your behalf.
CEO Andy Rubin, who created Android, told Bloomberg last year that he longed for a phone that'd be “a virtual version of you", so that you could be "off enjoying your life, having that dinner" without touching your phone. "You can trust your phone to do things on your behalf,” Rubin said.
We've seen this type of technology in movies, but also in actual real-life, thanks to Google Duplex, an AI bot that sounds like a human and can call restaurants and businesses for you to make appointments. It's important to bear in mind that, with Duplex, there's the might, power, and resources of a Google behind it. And yet, Duplex is still in early days territory and limited in scope.
Essential is definitely not Google, both in terms of successes and finances. But that isn't stopping it from attempting to innovate.