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Ambient OS and Raising the Stakes

When Andy Rubin speaks, people listen. He is one of the forces behind Android and it now being the dominant OS on the planet. Can he do it again with Ambient OS?

First, you can check out the two new products (Phone and Home) from his company Essential here: https://www.essential.com/

Great, welcome back.

Relating to Home, it’ll be interesting to see whether that gets challenged by Google. The products are both designed for ambient voice interaction and have the same name. Essential Home vs Google Home?

One of the main differences is the addition of a screen. Essential also promises that the Essential Home will use as much local processing as possible to preserve privacy and that the software on it will be open. There are no details about far field capability, acoustic echo cancellation, or other features.

The launch of an open phone also seems like a direct challenge to Google, Apple, and Samsung. Will having something open and unlocked be a key selling point to the consumer masses? To me, the small bevel screen is the biggest selling point — same for the titanium frame. For Home… I don’t know.

If there’s anyone who can lead a revolution, it’s Andy. While other projects like Mycroft push for an open AI and voice system, it might be Essential (formerly Playground.Global) who could make it happen. LinkedIn shows 80 people currently working there. That’s not enough to make a dent yet.

However, when the Home does move forward, it’ll be interesting to see how it will fair at least on a performance basis. Maybe Ambient OS will be a more direct challenge to AVS and Google Assistant SDK?

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