Hong Kong tech startup Turing Space Industries has reinvented the smartphone, creating a device called the HubblePhone which merges four devices into one.
While the phone has been unveiled this week, it won’t go on sale until mid 2020 and with a price tag at US$2749, it won’t be on the shopping list of most early-adopters of new technology.
But the HubblePhone surely will have a market – the technology and styling milestones represent what could be the greatest evolution of the smartphone since Apple invented the iPhone.
The HubblePhone blends four products – a multi-screen smartphone, a 5G communication device, a professional-grade camera with advanced image and HD video editing software, and a mobile gaming console all into one.
Two key points of difference which make this much more than a smartphone are curved screens (visible in our images) made from hybrid glass-PMMA over Amoled – and artificial intelligence (AI) components, including lip-reading capability.
“The most natural way to control a device is with our voice,” explains Syl Chao, CEO at Turing Space Industries. “In a noisy environment, the HubblePhone uses lip-reading technology, revolutionising how we interact with mobile devices.”
HubblePhone’s multi-dimensional screen and camera system allows users to make calls by simply saying a name or number with voice or by silently moving their lips. HubblePhone auto-syncs vital information, including photos, contacts and emails from a current smartphone, PC, Mac or Cloud services via H-Sync software.
With a next-generation 5G connection, data transfers at a speed up to 50 per cent faster than current devices connected to 4G networks. Users can download and stream 4K video content and Hubble Show, billed as the world’s first mobile-entertainment hub, will host TV shows and music videos that use the HubblePhone’s multi-screen API and 5G NR speed to deliver multi-dimensional entertainment programs displayed on one or more of the phone’s screens.
HubblePhone includes an Artificial Reality (AR) messaging application which allows users to send 3D-animated messages projected into the recipient’s immediate physical surroundings and users can even scan 3D images of real-world objects while Hubble MI transforms them into visually compelling, communication-friendly 3D AR stickers.
The main camera of four on the device is side-mounted, with a circular surrounding flash and boasting a massive 60 megapixels in resolution quality. Turing claims a 15x optical zoom and video-editing software dwarfs any available on today’s smartphones. The other three cameras are of more modest 12 megapixels resolution, designed for selfies from practically any angle.
Given the connection speed, it seems obvious that the HubblePhone will perform as a gaming device. But the unit goes one step further by using an “emotional machine-intelligence chip” to provide a mobile gaming experience Turing believes is a next-generation advance.
From a design perspective, setting aside the side-facing main camera, the first obvious difference is its clam-shell format, reminiscent of (if much smaller than) the Motorola flip-phones of the pre-iPhone era. But start to give the device a workout and you’ll soon see the adaptability of this phone gives it transformer-like quality. You can literally turn screens in different directions and view multiple functions on different screens simultaneously.
While the technology and concept of the HubblePhone belongs to Turing, the company says it has partnered with “a number of leading smartphone manufacturers” to develop, produce and deliver the device. Perhaps this marks a turning point in the design and functionality of smartphones in the decade ahead as at least some of these features will surely filter through to mainstream manufacturers handsets.
While headquartered in Hong Kong, Turing has research and development divisions across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
- Images from Turing.