Smooth on one side, curved on the other, and powered by Firefox OS, the Runcible is an attempt by a startup called Monohm to meld smartphone connectivity to a device that harkens back to an earlier era.
The Runcible will be able to do all the things your Android or iPhone can do: make calls, send texts, take photos. But its makers say its shape -- less than 80 mm thick -- is intended to both get people talking about the device and get them to interact with the real world more often.
One potential use of the Runcible is as a fitness tracker for runners and cyclists.
The Runcible's GPS displays a compass with a red arrow pointing toward your destination. When it’s time to turn, the arrow blinks and adjusts its orientation, leaving you to figure out how best to get to point B. Monohm is even considering having the device divert you to interesting landmarks and notable points of interest along the way.
Whether placed on its round side or its flat side, the Runcible has high hopes that its unusual shape and high-quality parts will make it something everybody's talking about -- in a good way. That's no easy feat, given how many "unique" smartphone designs have been ignored by consumers.