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Meet Runcible, the Round Smartphone

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The circle is my nephew’s favorite shape. He’s just over a year old, and anything circular and light enough for him to carry around (and throw) is obviously his property. You can entertain him for hours with nothing but a circle drawn on a piece of paper. He’ll touch it and giggle; he’ll carry it around and stare at it or show it to anyone he sees. Circles are just that kid’s thing. Me? I’ve never really felt all that strongly about circles.

That was before I discovered the circular Runcible smartphone on CNet yesterday. Now, I am thinking my nephew might be on to something.

Runcible3This eye-catching device was created to be an alternative to the boring slab smartphones with their constantly connectivity and distractedness. While it’s not an anti-smartphone (the device will be able to browse the internet as well as make calls and send texts), the idea behind Runcible is to help people start enjoying life again.

“Runcible is designed to put your head back out in the world and your mind in conversation,” Aubrey Anderson the CEO of Monohm, the company behind Runcible, told CNet.

Unlike other smartphones, Runcible will not have apps to distract you from everyday life and is designed to be a sort of combination between a smartphone and a pocket watch. The device will, however, support internet browsing and a number of other functions like taking photos, getting directions and, of course, telling the time.
One of the coolest parts of the Runcible, aside from the actual apperance of the device, is that it is designed to be upgradable. According to the developer, all of the hardware in the Runcible is replaceable, and the phone is going to be marketed as an “heirloom” device, to be passed down and consistently upgraded to keep up with current technology.

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Of course, while the closet hipster in me loves the idea of a smartphone that I could treat like a pocketwatch (one of the cases even has a lid like a pocketwatch!!), I have to wonder how awkward taking a call on a circular device would really be. Would it be hard to hold? How would you text on such a device? And, equally important, how much is it going to cost? The Runcible is expected to be launched in Japan in late 2015 butĀ for now I guess we’ll just have to be patient.

Would you use a round smartphone? Let me know in the comments!