Essential is finally shutting down. Essential was founded by Andy Rubin, the creator of Android. Essential first tried to created a Android smartphone with PH-1. Despite solid build quality, the PH-1 failed to impress customers due to camera performance and some other reasons. In the meantime, Essential was trying to develop a platform for smart homes called Ambient OS. As we all know, Ambient OS never took off. Later, Essential cancelled its PH-2 smartphone which was under development.
Last year, Essential revealed Project GEM, a new mobile experience that its hardware, software and cloud teams have been building and testing for the past few years. Today, Essential revealed that it is cancelling the Project GEM project and also shutting down the whole company.
Our vision was to invent a mobile computing paradigm that more seamlessly integrated with people’s lifestyle needs. Despite our best efforts, we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers.
Essential today also published a few videos that showcase Project Gem, check them out below.
Project GEM Productivity experience:
Project GEM Camera experience:
Project GEM Voice experience:
Since Essential is shutting down, the security update for PH-1 which was released on February 3 is the last update. There won’t be any further update in the future. A prebuilt of Essential’s vendor image and everything else needed to keep hacking on PH-1 will be published on github.