Emblaze Mobile’s first Else Intuition vaporware on the way become Gizmondo #2

Yesterday I heard about quite an interesting product being launched.

It seems that we have a new super duper Linux based smartphone OS and device coming up soon, from a little known Israeli company Emblaze Mobile and Japanese software company Access.

The new handset, “First Else”, running a new Linux based “Else Intuition” OS,  is a new category of mobile device, that actually becomes an application (?) and is able to match the functionality of standalone off-the-shelf dedicated devices, such as digital cameras, top-ranked MP3 players, best-in-class GPS devices, and more, while maintaining an exceptional ease and simplicity of use.

Emblaze first Else intuition

Picture credit – Impress

While describing First Else device, CEO of Emblaze Mobile, Amir Kupervas was downright poetic:

Imagine a device that is not a phone surrounded by gimmicks you will not use; where the camera literally replaces your digital camera; you get real-time push email wherever you are on the globe; almost every song and film in the world is one click away; and any one of its multitude of features is reached with no more than one light gesture of your finger and not buried deep inside folders within folders. If you imagine this, you imagine the first ELSE™ and the capabilities created with ELSE INTUITION™

Well, Apple, Palm, RIM,  Google and Nokia, please step aside. It seems that we have a new gadget in town. And it sounds so much better then the crap you produce, there’s no point for you to continue.

Except for one smallish thing. Who the heck is Emblaze Mobile, and how were they able to make such a revolutionary device, without anyone getting a clue?

Well, actually, we have already heard about a new revolutionary Access Linux based handset from Emblaze, called Edelweiss. It was a year ago, when they were ready to revolutionize mobile industry and take over the mobile market, first in Russia, then the rest of the world. Unfortunately, except for the prototypes demoed at launch in Russia, I have not heard about a single Edelweiss device ever to ship.

And they’ve already been hard at work on the second revolutionary handset, called Monolith then. Well, I guess the Monolith is here, and it now has become First Else. Unfortunately, if the fate of Edelweiss is any indication, the probability of us seeing anything beyond a few prototypes, is pretty close to zero.

Then there’s Emblaze Group itself. They claim that they are very well  known hi-tech company in Israel. And that is an absolute truth. The thing they do not tell us, is how they are known there. And Emblaze Group in Israel is hardly a pillar of high tech business community in Israel. Actually, judging from these articles in Israeli and British press, Emblaze and it’s founder  Eli Reifman,  seems to be a rather shady figures.

According to those reports, Emblaze has raised anywhere between 400 and 700 million US$ at the height of dotcom boom, blew through something like 200 mil. since, bought a bunch of other companies, never made a profit, and has been doing some stuff in mobile and tech industry.

Their subsidiary, Emblaze Mobile, responsible for the creation of Edelweiss and First Else, has been around since 1998, doing some stuff in mobile industry too. Among the accomplishments of Emblaze mobile are:

  • development of first ever mobile video/audio application processor and graphics accelerator
  • launch of the world’s first ever video phone for Samsung
  • selling of advanced telecom infrastructure for mobile media delivery to operators in over 50 countries worldwide
  • acquisition of a Korean OEM with vast experience in mobile development, manufacturing and distribution in far eastern markets
  • leadership of large scale projects that included delivering far-east OEM products to Europe’s leading operators according to their specifications. Clients included top tier brands such as Virgin Mobile, Dixons, O2 and more (?!)
  • mobile handset distribution network and trading business in Europe
  • worked with top tier operators such as Vodafone, Orange, 3, O2 and many others

If it sounds a bit vague, it’s because it is. And hardly a profile of a company set to take over Apple, Google and Nokia to revolutionize mobile industry.

To me this all sounds eerily familiar, like something on the way to become Gizmondo #2. The similarities between the story of Gizmondo and this Edelweiss/Else stuff are really interesting:

  • a supposedly revolutionary product, set to take over a very hot industry, years in the making, but never progressing far beyond a few prototypes
  • hundreds of millions in investor money, collected in private placements in London
  • a shady founder, playing fast and loose with shareholder and borrowed money, eventually ending up in jail

Well, I might be wrong on all this. And first Else with Else Intuition might indeed turn out to be the products they are hyped to be. But for some reason, I feel that it is much more likely to end up in a scrap heap of overhyped high tech wannabees.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • jamezx

    Well you have had your say and you are obviously determined to trash the announcement from Access Company Japan.
    Do you really think that a company such as Access would make an announcement that they have if there was a remote possibility of anything occuring such as you have suggested, my answer is no they would not.
    I look forward to the 24 November when Emblaze announce there Else smartphone worldwide distribution in conjunction with major telecoms companies.

    I will then look forward to reading how you explain why you were so wrong.

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    I have nothing against Access company, and never tried to trash.

    My problem was with their partner Emblaze and their overhyped product press release. People putting out such a incoherent, full of crazy claims releases, do not inspire much confidence.

    As for the Nov. 24 launch, it may very well come. At least the announcement and press conference. Not so sure about the actual product shipments, though.

    Emblaze already did one Access Linux product announcement. It was Edelweiss smartphone. A year ago. Ever heard anything about Edelweiss since?

  • jamezx

    It was the Access Company co founder and CEO Tomihisa Kamada who said in a press release,

    “Our goal of providing a complete solution for enabling the creation of advanced mobile devices aligned well with this innovative vision from Emblaze Mobile. ELSE INTUITION™ provides a perfect showcase for the flexibility and customizability of ACCESS Linux Platform. It underscores our ability to tailor and adapt our technology to suit our clients’ requirements and to work directly with our clients to achieve their goals. Emblaze Mobile came to us with a thought-provoking concept to shake up the mobile industry, and I am delighted that ACCESS has been able to provide the software to make it happen.”

    http://www.access-company.com/news/press/ACCESS

    I do not understand why you think a highly respected company such as Access would spend a lot of time and money on developing a product with Emblaze with the expectation that it would not be produced and shipped.

    Perhaps you should let Sharp Corporation know quickly as they are producing the Emblaze Else smartphone.

  • jamezx

    .

  • jamezx
  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    I don't know why they would do that. BUt the fact is, they already did it
    once with Emblaze Edelweiss last year.

    Granted, there was no high profile comments from Access then. Still, it was
    Access Linux based mobile device that Emblaze hyped and never delivered last
    year

  • http://opensourcetogo.blogspot.com lefty

    “…how were they able to make such a revolutionary device, without anyone getting a clue?”

    Working with partners like ACCESS, who know how to keep their mouths shut as opposed to chattering to sites that produce stories like this one is might have something to do with it…

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    Maybe. And I'll believe it when I see it. Because for now, the only
    revolutionary thing about this phone that I've seen so far, was a
    revolutionary bad press release by Emblaze.

  • jamezx

    I can understand why you are so negative because of the past record of Emblaze.

    This time the difference is Access Company and Sharp Corporation are commited to the exploitation of the new operating system after having spent a lot of their time and money on development in partnership with Emblaze.

    Access Company and Sharp Corporation are world leading technological companies with a reputation for innovation to maintain and have embarked with Emblaze on what will be seen as a major change in mobile phone operating system technology.

    I would be very careful about dismissing their conjoined efforts

  • http://www.staska.net Staska

    I said that Monolith became First Else in the article, so no news here.

    And everyone who claims that this time it's different, because Access and
    Sharp are involved, well, maybe it is.

    But someone, making these claims, could you please explain what happened to
    Emblaze Edelweiss, that was launched last year? That was also Access Linux
    OS based smartphone device manufactured by Sharp.

  • jamezx

    Looks like the Emblaze ELSE is coming

    http://www.else-mobile.com/

    Looks more and more you are going to have to admit you made a misjudgement on this one

  • David G

    I think that this device's features are very impressive: a 3.5-inch, 854 x 480 capacitive touchscreen WiFi/3G/Bluetooth/GPS, built in accelerometers, and a 5 MP camera. As far as radios go, it’s stuffed: WCDMA/HSDPA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE: Quad-band 850/900/1800/1900MHz and Tri-band 850/1900/2100MHz.
    Also, I think the UI looks great and is very “clean” in its presentation. It seems easily accessible.
    I think this device has the potential to provide real competition to some of the bigger names in the industry.

  • http://cid-280a1538334a1cb9.profile.live.com/ Seika

    The site seems to require waiting for 100 minutes first. Any idea what’s in it ?

  • jamezx

    I had no problem Emblaze ELSE website loaded quickly, it is only a preliminary site to enable people to subscribe and the website has now moved to

    http://www.else.bz/

    While the original ELSE website is presently being updated

  • http://cid-280a1538334a1cb9.profile.live.com/ Seika

    Ah, sorry. The site doesn't explicitly say it's loading, so I thought they're putting a countdown.

  • jamezx

    Emblaze Else video showing very impressive innovative UI

    http://zoome.jp/itmediamobile/diary/223

  • Clive

    This looks like a day 1 purchase for me

  • Clive

    This looks like a day 1 purchase for me