Robot-Man Behind Google Phone

Engineer Andy Rubin: Gadget fanatic, longtime smartphone innovator
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2007 11:33 AM CST
Visitors look at an information screen at the Google Book Search stand at the International Frankfurt Book Fair 'Frankfurter Buchmesse' in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007. The world's largest...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The man behind the Google Phone is gadget guru Andy Rubin, a robotics fanatic whose love of cutting-edge toys puts him at odds with the Google anti-conspicuous-consumption ethos. A Times profile finds Rubin at home in a palace of technology, with a retinal scanner at the door and a robotic arm that rings the doorbell. Ironically, Google itself isn't making any such hardware for phones, just software other companies will use.

Before designing the much-anticipated Google Phone, Rubin, 44, developed the first smartphone, the commercially unsuccessful 2002 Sidekick.  Rubin is now 'director of platforms' for Google; the phone that will take the next step in morphing the cellphone into a mobile computer lies in his hands. 'I want to find something that delights people so they use it,' Rubin says.