Want a smartphone that looks like a pocket watch? A company called Monohm introduced one at Mobile World Congress this week.

It’s called the Runcible and it’s designed to be attractive and simple. The Runcible runs Firefox OS, but one of the key features is what the phone doesn’t do: it doesn’t beep or vibrate to let you know about incoming messages.

Monohm wants it to be a device that isn’t constantly demanding your attention, but is there when you need it.. like a pocket watch.

runcible_02

The back of the phone is a circular piece of wood with a hole for a camera. The front features a round touchscreen display which you can use as a watch, phone dialer, camera viewfinder, and more.

It supports WiFi, Bluetooth and LTE and supports web browsing, phone calls, and text messages, among other things.

But the Runcible won’t beep to let you know when there’s activity on your social networks. When you use the navigation feature you won’t see a map… instead it’ll work like a compass with an arrow pointing you in the right direction.

Monohm is positioning the Runcible as a niche device. It won’t do some of the things you expect from a smartphone and many of the things it does, it does differently. But maybe that’s something some people are looking for.

We’ll find out later this year when Japanese carrier KDDI begins offering the Runcible.

via CNET, Mashable, Engadget, and The Verge

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16 replies on “Runcible is a circular, Firefox OS smartphone with a wood case”

  1. Only a person who appreciates a word like runcible would buy this! Like me.

  2. The ultimate hipster phone: new from Monohm.

    “Phones that notify you when someone is trying to contact you are destroying society because they keep us disconnected from each other. When people had pocket watches, they weren’t slaves to The Man and enjoyed peace and serenity without interruption by electronic parasites. Besides, maps are SO mainstream…”

    They know you can turn off notification alerts on a normal phone, right? And if you want to navigate with an arrow pointing straight to your destination (because it’s not like there will be buildings or rivers in the way, right?) there’s nothing stopping you from using that on a normal phone either.

  3. It’s an interesting device. I don’t see any buttons except (what I assume are) two volume control buttons. How do you turn it on? How do you charge it? Maybe it’ll have a cradle like the Moto 360. I guess I’ll keep my judgements when the price and capabilities are announced. I like unique tech, and it’s definitely unique. If it’s useful enough and the price is right, I might buy one.

  4. I’d imagine that you would constantly be rotating it around to try to orient the thing correctly.

  5. Join two of these for instant google glass!
    -or just one really big virtual monocle…like a big wood eye.
    Harelip!

    1. The funny thing is, it’s so weird I might just buy one for Fun.

  6. Wow, that bezel is HUGE! I’m not sure there was a need to reinvent the wheel, but sure, whatever, keep ’em coming!

    1. I imagine the bezel is huge because they’re actually using a square screen.

      1. You are not improving my opinion of this device here. And yes, it’s possible…

      2. So it’s a Nest, but as a phone. If the ergonomics of holding a chocolate bar to your head are poor, holding a hockey puck to it instead is not likely to be an improvement…

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