Development of the Essential Home has also apparently been put on hold.

The future of Essential has been something of a mystery for the last few months, but thanks to a report from Bloomberg, we now have new details on the company’s latest project that should hopefully give it a new lease on life.

Although the Essential Phone 2 is dead, it’s reported that Andy Rubin and his team at Essential are developing a new type of smartphone that’s centered primarily around voice interactions and artificial intelligence that can make calls, text, and do other things automatically for you.

The design of the new mobile device isn’t like a standard smartphone. It would have a small screen and require users to interact mainly using voice commands, in concert with Essential’s artificial-intelligence software. The idea is for the product to book appointments or respond to emails and text messages on its own, according to the people familiar with the plans. Users would also be able to make phone calls from the planned device.

Such a device would be drastically different from our current smartphones, and as such, it’s said that Essential will market this new gadget as either a complimentary phone to your primary one or as a standalone handset for people that are trying to spend less time looking at a screen.

In order to properly work on this mystery device, Bloomberg also reports that Essential has “paused development” of its Essential Home smart speaker/display that was first announced alongside the Essential Phone in May 2017.

It’s said that we can expect to see Essential’s new phone as early as CES 2019 this coming January, so we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for more info over the coming months.

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