Wish List - Hardware

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Hardware enhancements

Some small hardware enhancement could be cheap, but very useful. Please add your ideas/wishes here:

Video-capable camera
  • preferably in rotatable turret set into top of unit, so it can face in either direction, making it useful for video conferencing. For a phone to stand a chance in the modern market it will need a camera else it is likely that it won't be bought.
  • And don't scrimp on still picture quality - a separate model w/ a stand-out quality camera might be very attractive for those of us who would like to combine a camera with a phone for travel. (fast boot-up, cycle times, > 2 MP resolution, good dynamic range, adjustable exposure times). Instead of a turret, how about an accessory stand so you can just flip the phone around and put it down in front of you instead of holding it. (Would need speaker phone capability too for that videoconferencing).
Integrated WiFi hardware
  • To sync data
  • To access Internet when WiFi is available (at home, work, school, friends)
  • For VoIP (this uses much power but maybe the user have the charger connected)
    • I'm willing to port Yate to it if the Internet connectivity issue is solved --@Dexter 13:58, 16 February 2007 (CET)
  • for videoconferencing (as with AccessGrid)
  • Even 802.11b 11Mbps -only would do -- the point is being able to connect it to the Internet without incurring the (sometimes huge) costs of GPRS or (even worse) HSCSD.
  • To save power have WiFi able to wake up and check for a designated SSID then sleep again if not found (i.e. I'm not home) or wake up by GPS location (only come up at home and in the office)
  • Variable TX power, to the minimum needed to connect to the AP.
  • Some sort of caching (encrypted?) internet proxy that can store and forward packets. Instead of having the radio constantly on, it turns the radio on every 30s, for just long enough to register with the AP, and ask the proxy if it has new packets for it.
    • An optimisation might be if the hardware, and the AP can do broadcast packets. The receiver is only turned on for .5s/30s, to recieve a broadcast packet saying 'you've got packets' without registering with the AP, or transmitting at all. The GPS synchronises the timing.
    • This slows the initial connection to the phone, but most tcp/ip applications will not time out in 30s.
LED
  • A blinking LED would be cheap and low power, good for informing the user about new SMS/Email....
    • An alternative to this would be for one segment of the LCD to be seperately backlit. There are many LEDs in the backlight, all normally on. This has the advantage that you can display reasonable amounts of information on the bit of the screen that's illuminated.
    • The disadvantage is the field of view is smaller, and it's dimmer than a bare LCD, as the LCD absorbs some light.
    • This also requires the CPU and LCD to be somewhat active, to keep it refreshed.
  • Note: the LED and button ideas could be combined: illuminated buttons
  • A yellow LED for GSM/GPRS Tx burst, a blue one for Bluetooth/WiFi Tx burst, a green one for non-urgent notifications (sleep state, missed call etc.) and a red one for urgent notifications (battery almost drained out, new SMS etc.). All of this could be done in one, multicoloured (RGB) LED, similar to the nice one on the Yaesu VX-7R.
D-Pad and Buttons
  • Adding a D-pad (to the bottom of the phone) and 2 to 4 buttons (to the top) would provide some tactile input controls, in addition to the touchscreen. They could be used as shortcut keys in the menu, or playback control when playing media. When the phone is held sideways, they can be used as games controls. (With touchscreen alone, gameplay options are limited)
Accelerometer

This enables the phone to sense where 'down' is - to enable various options.

Change playlists when I'm jogging vs walking. (there ia an mp3 player on the market that does this).

  • Can't the GPS information be used for that purpose? It should be possible to derive the phone's velocity from the change in coordinates over time, so such a playlist profile switcher should be a possibility even now already. Abraxa 00:09, 18 February 2007 (CET)
    • Yeah in my opinion that is a very cool idea. But for that case the device should be much lighter. I wouldn't go jogging with a device with this size.--denis_std 01:01, 18 February 2007 (CET)
  • Shake mitigation when using the camera (wish list item #1). How many of us end up with blurry pictures because we can't hold the phone steady?
    • An accellerometer is not a gyroscope. You can't tell orientation generally from accelleration, only which way 'down' is, which does not help for side-side motion, as the phone can spin around the direction of gravity without any acceleration.

Up and down tilting is slightly easier, but it's very hard to determine between shaking of the phone in an up and down axis, and tilting the phone in an up and down axis.

SIR transceiver (Serial Infrared)
  • An infrared LED is cheap, small, and useful for sync with a lot of laptops and mobile phones.
  • Could be used to detect when to turn off the display (if the low power IR signal is reflected) and activate the key lock. And could be used as a remote. iPhone has a proximity sensor.
  • FIR would be nice as well, but I would settle for SIR if it would be added. Linux already has a working IrDA stack so the standard part would be satisfied. I would be more than glad to write lirc thingies for OpenMoko then :)
  • Also, a universal infrared remote feature would be a killer app.
Standard 3.5mm jack
  • I think everyone interested (and knowledgeable) enough to buy a Neo can make a 2.5mm male to 3.5mm female adaptor cable in under 1/2h and under 10EUR :-)

Certainly - now make it light, small, pretty, durable, tangle-free. I want a 3.5mm jack. The only problem is - are headsets widely available in the same format as 2.5mm. --Speedevil 14:28, 16 February 2007 (CET)

Multitouch screen
Multi I/O adapter
  • VGA, standard Jack (line in & out), standard USB
MMC/SD/SDIO slot (rather than?) miniSD or microSD
  • Cheaper, more durable cards in a widely accepted format.
  • Cards are harder to lose
  • Wider selection of accesories, including SDIO accessories.
  • Make externally available so that larger length SDIO cards can be used (thinking about SDIO WLAN here)
  • Only because CF takes too much room (or CF would be the wish, instead)
Expansion Back
  • Replacement backs with additional features
  • I believe this would be a great idea, if put into practice. It would solve the extensibility need, usually associated with Open Source projects. It would allow for lots of other devices and for functionality to be developed and put into use without making it a burden for FIC.
    • With extra card slots and small footprint hard drive (if possible), Neo might become a nice image tank for photographers - --cedel 18:34, 19 February 2007 (CET)
Thumb keyboard or keyboard attachment accessory
  • Could be slide out or clamshell (hinge on long side) design with an external OLED. The keyboard should be protected when not in use.
  • Could be a clip on keyboard that attaches to the serial port or communicates by bluetooth (not preferred for permanent keyboard users).
  • cheap clippable miniusb keyboard
LASER keyboard (can be a full QWERTY keyboard)
  • On the hardware side, this would require a $5 laser diode, a $3 (in bulk) custom diffraction grating, and probably a couple of cubic centimetres volume inside the phone.
  • This requires a camera pointable to the front.
  • It requires an integrated stand for the phone.
  • To practically use this, you've got to be 40cm or so away from the phone, which means under 25*20 of text resolution.
  • In software, it's relatively easy to parse the camera output, to find changes in the known laser field.

There are major problems.

  • Patent issues.
  • No tactile response at all, which slows typing.
  • An extra 2cc/6g.
EDGE support
Ability to insert more than one Sim-Card and (if possible) connect to more than one network at the same time
  • This could be achieved via a specialist dual sim card kit (currently on market)- where two sims are trimmed and combined on one card, software support for dual sims would need providing...
  • What about twin-SIMs (SIMs with 2 phone lines registered on them)? Conventional GSM phones have an option to switch between the two, older ones use # (long press before dialling) to do that. I'm guessing Calypso should support it, we just need to provide an interface for it :-) --@Dexter 11:34, 19 February 2007 (CET)
RFID tag
  • Implementation/Cooperation with: RFID-Guardian
  • Advantages of a RFID tag? I would see a lot privacy problems
    • The tag could be switched on or off. A nice feature would be a module able to clone tags. This would unfortunately probably be rather expensive.
    • What about an RFID Reader which could be used to locate items with RFID tags (IE: in your house) Alexpb
      • That would be a nice feature--denis_std 08:33, 17 February 2007 (CET)
      • Most tags can only be located within 10cm or so. Essentially no cheap tags can be located over several metres.--Speedevil 13:17, 18 February 2007 (CET)
USB 2.0
  • Powered
  • Host Mode / Device Mode
  • OTG (is this maybe supported already ?)
UMTS support
Dump the egg-shaped case design and go rectangular for more screen space
  • I'm all for devices that look great and have great features - aside from that I really like the current design. Thus I'd like to comment that the design change request is probably not the majority's opinion. Abraxa 00:00, 18 February 2007 (CET)
A standard slip-on or clip-on template (possibly with buttons) to make the touch-screen blind accessible
Speakerphone functionality
Reposition Speakers
  • putting the two speakers on opposite sides of the screen would make the stereo sound much more effective

The screen is 2.8" across. That's not especially effective. Also, the speaker noise does come out the side - look at the grills in the pictures. --Speedevil 06:19, 16 February 2007 (CET)

Small metal frame for protection (like Siemens M65, only with more style)
Free GPIO ports on a connector to allow easy, simple hardware extensions
Video acceleration

Hardware acceleration for video playback.

3D acceleration

3D hardware acceleration for 3D games, GUIs, etc. (maybe a PowerVR MBX Lite ?).

Alcohol Sensor

Alcohol sensor adjacent to microphone. It doesn't have to be accurate, just has to detect any amount of alcohol on the speaker's breath. I understand this is a very narrow market, but alcohol is on every parent's mind.

I think those who drive cars might profit from this feature too. --cedel 16:02, 20 February 2007 (CET)

Disinfection UV-Light

I had read about it in an Article on http://www.americanairandwater.com/UV-news/. But Motorola patents it. Yes - finally a way to stop the billions of annual deaths due to cellphone infections! --Speedevil 14:04, 16 February 2007 (CET) It´s just something that flying in my head... It´s not the first "unreal" or "useless" idea. Just for fun! --MookiE 14:51, 16 February 2007 (CET)

More seriously - UV of the required frequency is inherently eye-damaging. Also, as I understand it, there are actually no UV LEDs that will reliably produce 'germicidal' UV. The most expensive - and they are very expensive - ones produce UV of a sort that may kill very susceptible bacteria, but comparatively few. IIRC the LEDs are $20 per. --Speedevil 15:11, 16 February 2007 (CET)

Teleportation

Implementing a beaming-device to the Neo would make it the first phone enabling teleportation. See: [1] Possible implementation difficulties might be the lacking teleportation-support in the GSM standard as well as uncooperative mobile service providers that feel uneasy towards innovative technologies...

EPD

Or electronic paper display, EPD is used in many new devices such as the new Motorola motofone, sonys new e-reader and Irex's iliad. The technology provides thin, flexible, power saving screens using new eink technology. This technology could cut the weight of the phone and its power usage. For more info see: eink's website.

FM/Digital Radio(DAB) Reciever

A nice feature would be a radio reciever: FM or even better: Digital Audio Broadcast (Digital Radio)

V12 Embedded power source

We'll need something beefy to power the next Neos for the above gadgets, I propose the use of a Embeddable Power Source, that with some miniturisation and a bit of design work should be workable as a possible solution.

Thermometer

An electronic thermometer might become handy for some users.

There are very small I2C devices available, that could easily integrate to the existing bus. For example this one from ti.

I2C breakout

I2C is an internal bus in the phone. This is a simple bus, with only 2-3 wires, hence ideal for making accessible to those making add-ons, as it is low powered, and can be daisy-chained. It would be a great candidate to bring out into the Expansion Back.

Readily available I2C chips range from temperature sensing, digital input/ouput chips, to 1-wire bridge chips (which is designed for external switches, ID, sensing, ...)

Personal tools

Hardware enhancements

Some small hardware enhancement could be cheap, but very useful. Please add your ideas/wishes here:

Video-capable camera
  • preferably in rotatable turret set into top of unit, so it can face in either direction, making it useful for video conferencing. For a phone to stand a chance in the modern market it will need a camera else it is likely that it won't be bought.
  • And don't scrimp on still picture quality - a separate model w/ a stand-out quality camera might be very attractive for those of us who would like to combine a camera with a phone for travel. (fast boot-up, cycle times, > 2 MP resolution, good dynamic range, adjustable exposure times). Instead of a turret, how about an accessory stand so you can just flip the phone around and put it down in front of you instead of holding it. (Would need speaker phone capability too for that videoconferencing).
Integrated WiFi hardware
  • To sync data
  • To access Internet when WiFi is available (at home, work, school, friends)
  • For VoIP (this uses much power but maybe the user have the charger connected)
    • I'm willing to port Yate to it if the Internet connectivity issue is solved --@Dexter 13:58, 16 February 2007 (CET)
  • for videoconferencing (as with AccessGrid)
  • Even 802.11b 11Mbps -only would do -- the point is being able to connect it to the Internet without incurring the (sometimes huge) costs of GPRS or (even worse) HSCSD.
  • To save power have WiFi able to wake up and check for a designated SSID then sleep again if not found (i.e. I'm not home) or wake up by GPS location (only come up at home and in the office)
  • Variable TX power, to the minimum needed to connect to the AP.
  • Some sort of caching (encrypted?) internet proxy that can store and forward packets. Instead of having the radio constantly on, it turns the radio on every 30s, for just long enough to register with the AP, and ask the proxy if it has new packets for it.
    • An optimisation might be if the hardware, and the AP can do broadcast packets. The receiver is only turned on for .5s/30s, to recieve a broadcast packet saying 'you've got packets' without registering with the AP, or transmitting at all. The GPS synchronises the timing.
    • This slows the initial connection to the phone, but most tcp/ip applications will not time out in 30s.
LED
  • A blinking LED would be cheap and low power, good for informing the user about new SMS/Email....
    • An alternative to this would be for one segment of the LCD to be seperately backlit. There are many LEDs in the backlight, all normally on. This has the advantage that you can display reasonable amounts of information on the bit of the screen that's illuminated.
    • The disadvantage is the field of view is smaller, and it's dimmer than a bare LCD, as the LCD absorbs some light.
    • This also requires the CPU and LCD to be somewhat active, to keep it refreshed.
  • Note: the LED and button ideas could be combined: illuminated buttons
  • A yellow LED for GSM/GPRS Tx burst, a blue one for Bluetooth/WiFi Tx burst, a green one for non-urgent notifications (sleep state, missed call etc.) and a red one for urgent notifications (battery almost drained out, new SMS etc.). All of this could be done in one, multicoloured (RGB) LED, similar to the nice one on the Yaesu VX-7R.
D-Pad and Buttons
  • Adding a D-pad (to the bottom of the phone) and 2 to 4 buttons (to the top) would provide some tactile input controls, in addition to the touchscreen. They could be used as shortcut keys in the menu, or playback control when playing media. When the phone is held sideways, they can be used as games controls. (With touchscreen alone, gameplay options are limited)
Accelerometer

This enables the phone to sense where 'down' is - to enable various options.

Change playlists when I'm jogging vs walking. (there ia an mp3 player on the market that does this).

  • Can't the GPS information be used for that purpose? It should be possible to derive the phone's velocity from the change in coordinates over time, so such a playlist profile switcher should be a possibility even now already. Abraxa 00:09, 18 February 2007 (CET)
    • Yeah in my opinion that is a very cool idea. But for that case the device should be much lighter. I wouldn't go jogging with a device with this size.--denis_std 01:01, 18 February 2007 (CET)
  • Shake mitigation when using the camera (wish list item #1). How many of us end up with blurry pictures because we can't hold the phone steady?
    • An accellerometer is not a gyroscope. You can't tell orientation generally from accelleration, only which way 'down' is, which does not help for side-side motion, as the phone can spin around the direction of gravity without any acceleration.

Up and down tilting is slightly easier, but it's very hard to determine between shaking of the phone in an up and down axis, and tilting the phone in an up and down axis.

SIR transceiver (Serial Infrared)
  • An infrared LED is cheap, small, and useful for sync with a lot of laptops and mobile phones.
  • Could be used to detect when to turn off the display (if the low power IR signal is reflected) and activate the key lock. And could be used as a remote. iPhone has a proximity sensor.
  • FIR would be nice as well, but I would settle for SIR if it would be added. Linux already has a working IrDA stack so the standard part would be satisfied. I would be more than glad to write lirc thingies for OpenMoko then :)
  • Also, a universal infrared remote feature would be a killer app.
Standard 3.5mm jack
  • I think everyone interested (and knowledgeable) enough to buy a Neo can make a 2.5mm male to 3.5mm female adaptor cable in under 1/2h and under 10EUR :-)

Certainly - now make it light, small, pretty, durable, tangle-free. I want a 3.5mm jack. The only problem is - are headsets widely available in the same format as 2.5mm. --Speedevil 14:28, 16 February 2007 (CET)

Multitouch screen
Multi I/O adapter
  • VGA, standard Jack (line in & out), standard USB
MMC/SD/SDIO slot (rather than?) miniSD or microSD
  • Cheaper, more durable cards in a widely accepted format.
  • Cards are harder to lose
  • Wider selection of accesories, including SDIO accessories.
  • Make externally available so that larger length SDIO cards can be used (thinking about SDIO WLAN here)
  • Only because CF takes too much room (or CF would be the wish, instead)
Expansion Back
  • Replacement backs with additional features
  • I believe this would be a great idea, if put into practice. It would solve the extensibility need, usually associated with Open Source projects. It would allow for lots of other devices and for functionality to be developed and put into use without making it a burden for FIC.
    • With extra card slots and small footprint hard drive (if possible), Neo might become a nice image tank for photographers - --cedel 18:34, 19 February 2007 (CET)
Thumb keyboard or keyboard attachment accessory
  • Could be slide out or clamshell (hinge on long side) design with an external OLED. The keyboard should be protected when not in use.
  • Could be a clip on keyboard that attaches to the serial port or communicates by bluetooth (not preferred for permanent keyboard users).
  • cheap clippable miniusb keyboard
LASER keyboard (can be a full QWERTY keyboard)
  • On the hardware side, this would require a $5 laser diode, a $3 (in bulk) custom diffraction grating, and probably a couple of cubic centimetres volume inside the phone.
  • This requires a camera pointable to the front.
  • It requires an integrated stand for the phone.
  • To practically use this, you've got to be 40cm or so away from the phone, which means under 25*20 of text resolution.
  • In software, it's relatively easy to parse the camera output, to find changes in the known laser field.

There are major problems.

  • Patent issues.
  • No tactile response at all, which slows typing.
  • An extra 2cc/6g.
EDGE support
Ability to insert more than one Sim-Card and (if possible) connect to more than one network at the same time
  • This could be achieved via a specialist dual sim card kit (currently on market)- where two sims are trimmed and combined on one card, software support for dual sims would need providing...
  • What about twin-SIMs (SIMs with 2 phone lines registered on them)? Conventional GSM phones have an option to switch between the two, older ones use # (long press before dialling) to do that. I'm guessing Calypso should support it, we just need to provide an interface for it :-) --@Dexter 11:34, 19 February 2007 (CET)
RFID tag
  • Implementation/Cooperation with: RFID-Guardian
  • Advantages of a RFID tag? I would see a lot privacy problems
    • The tag could be switched on or off. A nice feature would be a module able to clone tags. This would unfortunately probably be rather expensive.
    • What about an RFID Reader which could be used to locate items with RFID tags (IE: in your house) Alexpb
      • That would be a nice feature--denis_std 08:33, 17 February 2007 (CET)
      • Most tags can only be located within 10cm or so. Essentially no cheap tags can be located over several metres.--Speedevil 13:17, 18 February 2007 (CET)
USB 2.0
  • Powered
  • Host Mode / Device Mode
  • OTG (is this maybe supported already ?)
UMTS support
Dump the egg-shaped case design and go rectangular for more screen space
  • I'm all for devices that look great and have great features - aside from that I really like the current design. Thus I'd like to comment that the design change request is probably not the majority's opinion. Abraxa 00:00, 18 February 2007 (CET)
A standard slip-on or clip-on template (possibly with buttons) to make the touch-screen blind accessible
Speakerphone functionality
Reposition Speakers
  • putting the two speakers on opposite sides of the screen would make the stereo sound much more effective

The screen is 2.8" across. That's not especially effective. Also, the speaker noise does come out the side - look at the grills in the pictures. --Speedevil 06:19, 16 February 2007 (CET)

Small metal frame for protection (like Siemens M65, only with more style)
Free GPIO ports on a connector to allow easy, simple hardware extensions
Video acceleration

Hardware acceleration for video playback.

3D acceleration

3D hardware acceleration for 3D games, GUIs, etc. (maybe a PowerVR MBX Lite ?).

Alcohol Sensor

Alcohol sensor adjacent to microphone. It doesn't have to be accurate, just has to detect any amount of alcohol on the speaker's breath. I understand this is a very narrow market, but alcohol is on every parent's mind.

I think those who drive cars might profit from this feature too. --cedel 16:02, 20 February 2007 (CET)

Disinfection UV-Light

I had read about it in an Article on http://www.americanairandwater.com/UV-news/. But Motorola patents it. Yes - finally a way to stop the billions of annual deaths due to cellphone infections! --Speedevil 14:04, 16 February 2007 (CET) It´s just something that flying in my head... It´s not the first "unreal" or "useless" idea. Just for fun! --MookiE 14:51, 16 February 2007 (CET)

More seriously - UV of the required frequency is inherently eye-damaging. Also, as I understand it, there are actually no UV LEDs that will reliably produce 'germicidal' UV. The most expensive - and they are very expensive - ones produce UV of a sort that may kill very susceptible bacteria, but comparatively few. IIRC the LEDs are $20 per. --Speedevil 15:11, 16 February 2007 (CET)

Teleportation

Implementing a beaming-device to the Neo would make it the first phone enabling teleportation. See: [1] Possible implementation difficulties might be the lacking teleportation-support in the GSM standard as well as uncooperative mobile service providers that feel uneasy towards innovative technologies...

EPD

Or electronic paper display, EPD is used in many new devices such as the new Motorola motofone, sonys new e-reader and Irex's iliad. The technology provides thin, flexible, power saving screens using new eink technology. This technology could cut the weight of the phone and its power usage. For more info see: eink's website.

FM/Digital Radio(DAB) Reciever

A nice feature would be a radio reciever: FM or even better: Digital Audio Broadcast (Digital Radio)

V12 Embedded power source

We'll need something beefy to power the next Neos for the above gadgets, I propose the use of a Embeddable Power Source, that with some miniturisation and a bit of design work should be workable as a possible solution.

Thermometer

An electronic thermometer might become handy for some users.

There are very small I2C devices available, that could easily integrate to the existing bus. For example this one from ti.

I2C breakout

I2C is an internal bus in the phone. This is a simple bus, with only 2-3 wires, hence ideal for making accessible to those making add-ons, as it is low powered, and can be daisy-chained. It would be a great candidate to bring out into the Expansion Back.

Readily available I2C chips range from temperature sensing, digital input/ouput chips, to 1-wire bridge chips (which is designed for external switches, ID, sensing, ...)