Today at CES, Royole, which is known for its flexible screens and making the first foldable phone, debuted a new display that wraps around the outside of a smart speaker. The speaker itself, made by Cleer using Royole’s display, is called the Mirage Smart Speaker and has an 8-inch AMOLED “fully flexible” touch display that appears to cover most, if not all, of the body of the device.
I can envision how this could, in theory, give you another way to skip songs or adjust the volume. Instead of tapping on controls on the top of the device, perhaps you could just touch the screen on the body of the speaker. And based on the press images, it seems like the screen might be used for some cool-looking visualizers. That wraparound display will come at a price, though: Royole says the Mirage will be available in Q2 for an eye-watering $899.
It’s unclear how good of a speaker you’ll get for that money. Royole says the Mirage is equipped with three “full-range drivers” and a “passive bass radiator,” but we’ll have to hear the speaker for ourselves to know how good it sounds. Royole also says the speaker is equipped with Amazon Alexa and two far-field mics to pick up your voice. The Mirage also has a 5MP camera. It’s not clear what that camera might be used for, though Royole says it has a “physical mute switch,” so it seems you’ll be able to cover the camera if you’d like.
Royole is also announcing RoWrite 2, a redesigned version of its “smart notebook” that pairs with a mobile app to let you save and share notes. The original RoWrite looked like a black leather folio, but the RoWrite 2 looks sleeker and comes in a nice light brown color. Royole says the RoWrite 2 is 40 percent lighter than its predecessor and has a longer battery life — though it’s unclear how much more battery life. An Amazon UK page for the first RoWrite says it got eight hours of battery life.
Royole says the RoWrite 2 will be available globally in March for $129.
Correction January 17th: Cleer makes the Mirage smart speaker, not Royole, as this article initially stated. Royole only provides the display.
At CES 2020, Royole published an announcement about the smart speaker that made no reference to Cleer and implied that the speaker was made by Royole itself. A representative for Cleer contacted us 10 days after publication to note Cleer’s involvement. The speaker’s “idea, industrial design, [and] user interface” all come from Cleer, the representative said. Cleer presented the speaker at CES 2019 as well, however it did not mention Royole’s involvement at the time.
Royole did not respond to multiple phone calls or an emailed request for clarification.