On February 27, it was revealed that KDDI made an investment in “Monohm” at Berkeley, CA, in the U.S., through the “KDDI Open Innovation Fund”.
Monohm is a company that develops devices that are based on Firefox OS. KDDI has been focusing on Firefox OS, and it was also revealed that KDDI showed its interest in future device sales, instead of just the first terminal “Fx0″. (The efforts put forward seem to be different from those for Windows Phone which ended for IS12T only).
The first device that Monohm developed is the “Runcible” product. It is a round device that fits comfortably in your hand. Its size may be close to Nubra.
Of course, a round display has been equipped. The device has a built-in camera at its center, allowing photography. The rounded section can spin around, which allows for operations.
Actually, it can be used as a remote control that controls a variety of objects in your home. It also can be attached to your body as a musical player or a pedometer. Also, with a built-in camera, it can be used as a simplified version of a GoPRO.
It seems aimed at becoming a device that always snuggles into people, which is somewhat different from smart phones.
I was allowed to view the illustrative design, which provides a sense of enhanced usability and gives a pleasant feeling.
KDDI seems to want it to be LTE compatible, targeting a presence where “you will feel no difficulty with phone calls and email checks if you go outside with only this” on holidays. Monohm put its efforts into FireOS, which can be created based on the Web, considering “An application takes time during its startup, which is not user-friendly”, in making such a device.
While it is “neither a smart phone nor a wearable”, it is unclear how far the needs can be dug, but it feels like a device that is suitable for realizing the worldview of “WOT (Web of Things) where all the things get connected through the Web.
Just because recently non-thrilling devices are everywhere, I hope they can release a “new thrilling” device.