Last year Blackberry tested the limits of smartphones by giving us the Blackberry Passport. The Passport was so unconventional that is square form factor was the major point of discussion. In the spirit of testing the limits, Monohm, a startup based in Berkeley, California is working on an idea to give the world its very first circular and wooden smartphone. The device is a circular, palm-sized device dubbed Runcible.
Steve job launched the Apple iPhone in 2007 ultimately setting the rectangular shaped standard for smartphones. Few organizations have gone against the grain by launching a non-rectangular device. The Runcible christened the “anti-smartphone” is meant to capitalize on smartphone users obsession with feeds and notifications which are the very core of the digital movement. “Smartphones, with their slender, touch-controlled displays, have become a distinctly more active rectangle. Paired with the never-ending vertical feeds that fill apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, they’ve become an irresistible, inexhaustible diversion” Monohm CEO Aubrey Anderson said in an interview with Wired.
Can it work?
No idea. I am not sure the Runcible can break the bounds ingrained in smartphone users that they ought to be rectangles. The team at Monohm has some prototype hardware and a crude sketch of an operating system. They also have ideas on applications with one being a dashboard that gives you an overview of activity on your social media accounts. But the philosophy behind the Runcible is the ability to distill information and streamline interaction, software that constrains the smartphone experience as it exists today.