Last year, a flexible phone, at 2019. This year, the company is back at the largest consumer tech show in the world with the Royole Mirage -- a smart speaker with a wraparound touchscreen, a futuristic design and a mind-boggling price tag.
Yes, the Mirage costs a whopping $899. When I asked a developer who he expected to shell out for a device with essentially the same smarts as anat 10 times the price, he said it was just for a different audience. Fair enough, I guess. But let's take a look at the specs on the Mirage.
The smart speaker, which really is more accurately called a smart display, features an 8-inch AMOLED display that stretches halfway around the speaker. A 5-megapixel camera at the top takes photos or makes video calls and has an option shutter for the privacy-conscious.
The operating system will be familiar to anyone who's used an Echo Show ( $230 at Amazon ), but it comes with a few bonuses. You can drag your finger laterally to fast-forward or rewind videos and vertically to adjust the volume. You can also change the ambient light on the bottom of the speaker.
It's tough to judge the sound quality of any speaker on the show floor at CES, what with the thousands of people flocking around you at all times. From what I could judge, the Mirage had a decent-sounding product -- though I wasn't blown away the way I have been by $400 and $500 hi-fi, and this one costs twice that.
CES always offers fun opportunities to see inventive new products, and though I'm definitely not sold on this one, it's cool to see one possible future for smart speakers.