You may remember the original unveiling of the First ELSE smartphone last November with its potentially "revolutionary" touch user interface. We haven't heard much since then, but some new developments have now surfaced to pique our interest.
Emblaze has just launched a brand new website dedicated to showing off the upcoming handset and demonstrating a bit of the Linux-based ELSE Intuition touch UI. The new images, information, and animations look impressive and I hope the company will be at the Mobile World Congress next week so we can find out more about this intriguing smartphone.
As for technical specifications, it seems like nothing has changed beyond the information we had previously, meaning a 3.5" FWVGA (854×480) capacitive touch screen with tactile feedback, TI OMAP 3430 processor, tilt and light sensors, 5MP camera, GPS and A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, b/g WiFi, and 3G UMTS/HSDPA connectivity. Currently, the First ELSE is still targeting a Q2 release, but there's still no information on price and carriers.
I have so far been impressed with the innovative approach that Emblaze has taken with the First ELSE's UI. It looks like it has been designed to be really simple and easy to operate, requiring only a single thumb in most cases allowing true one-handed operation. I also really like the look of the interface, but only actual hands-on time with the device will be able to discern whether the First ELSE really is revolutionary or merely a flashy alternative to what we have currently.
I have included a video below by Engadget taken at CES 2010 where the handset and interface are demonstrated to give a better idea of what we can expect.