Wishlist/Expansion Back

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Hardware wishes warning! This article or section documents a Hardware Wish List item, the features described here may or may not be implemented in future devices.
Gta01b v3 case back open white.jpg

This is the current back, showing where the battery plugs in (central) where the SIM plugs in (middle, lower) and the microSD socket, which is under the SIM socket.

The USB socket is approximately a centimetre to the right of the edge of the void the battery fits in.

The standard back fits snugly to the phone, meaning there is no spare space.

An altered back, that is 5mm or so deeper offers many possibilities, without modifying the core phone at all, and offering users more choices.

Alternatively, a spacer could be made that fits between the phone and the existing back. The user could insert as many spacers as desired to obtain sufficient space. See: Wishlist:ExpansionSpacer

This idea requires heavy modification:

This requires may be huge modification. I dont know how feasible it is? Moreover the I have created 3D designs for the first time. So please dont look at the dimensions or curves etc. I have forgot to put the stylus. That anyway was not the driving force for me while doing this.

My idea is to use any connector that internally uses USB. Ofcouse the connector will need to be standardized (may be some existing standard can do). The device can be given to the consumer with a dummy module fitted that just gives the mini-usb But possibilities are limitless

  -- removable camera -- user may buy the type of camera he wants from several modules
  -- extra SD card stack
  -- may be extra battery
  -- special purpose radios
  -- mini projector
  -- projection keyboard
  -- HDD
  -- finger print scanner
  -- smartcard reader
  -- Wi-Max or any other future tech

I exported some images to png format from google sketchup (I used the free version, I had tried blender. Its great software but takes time to learn. So for the time being I went to sketchup.)

Here are some showing possible extensions and connector slot. The one that looks like a floppy disk is supposed to be a 1.8" HDD. And all the modules has a outgoing mini USB port. Its shown in only one of them not all. I request you once again, please don't pay any heed to the dimensions. I had used them to keep everything proportionate. But couldn't remove them later on as they had become embedded in other objects.





In the following images the camera module has been connected to the Phone:





Ideas that do not require any modification of the phone.

  • Larger battery, perhaps doubling the existing capacity.
  • Flex cable' from the microSD slot, to a full-size SD socket on the right-middle of the edge of the back of the phone (top right on the image).
  • flex cable' from the SIM slot, to a double SIM socket on the left-middle of the phone (bottom right on image).
  • Stylus' holder
  • AA or AAA battery power options.

If the phone offers a mic-in jack, we can add some cool gadgets:
-A cycle-computer's sensors could be jacked into the mic plug
-The signals of a cycle-computer with wireless sensor could be absorbed by a flat antenna on the phone's back
-A magnetic card stripe-reader has already been shown to work over a laptop's mic-in plug. software available

Ideas which require slight modifications of the phone.

  • Solar charging: world's first solar-powered mobile. Using a rugged solar cell (maybe a solar foil) and a power regulating circuit the Neo could be powered CO2-neutral. After all, there's plenty of space on the back ;-)
  • USB-flex cable: alter the plastics moulding so that the back of the USB socket is accessible, and somehow make a flex cable connectable there.
    • Add a USB blanking plug, to blank off the USB port when the expansion back is in use. This brings USB up into the back of the phone.
    • Alternative: Let the blanking plug be an actual usb connector and attached to the expansion back. No modification needed and I think it is possible to do in an not to ugly way with a custom connector (bonus, you can't loose the blanking plug).

This adds many possibilities. Add a small 3.6-5V converter, and if it's possible to switch on the voltage status of the D0/D1 lines, to turn these off, and add a USB 1.1 hub chip, this makes for a very, very hackable back.

  • Extra storage cards via a ripped off USB multi card reader
  • USB-PIO chip - one of many, to give drive for as many LEDs as you want scattered over the back.
  • USB wlan key, with the cover ripped off, and the connector removed and soldered straight onto the hub outputs.
  • Docking: large contacts on the back, to enable a simple dock, that it just drops into and charges, with static protected USB slave mode port that.
  • IRDA', to enable IR keyboards to work, as well as IR enabling remote functionality

With a slightly thicker back, and much more complex mechanics, a slide-out keyboard - for use in landscape mode - would be possible. A larger fold-out keyboard similar to the device in the previous link could also be possible. The keyboard could be stored in the back of the case and unfolded/swiveled/rotated, placing the phone in the preferred orientation. The keyboard does not have to be powered separately since its physically attached and could be a very "low tech" device but add functionality while attached. Possibly include an integrated mini trackball or other selection device to allow control of on screen selection without using a stylus.

A camera would also be an interesting option.

The advantage of the first class of devices is that they requires no engineering on the behalf of FIC, everything is external, and yet the case can be easily swapped by users.

The second type, with USB requires another socket on the board, and some plastics changes, or a much more involved install suitable only for a very few users.

There are many possible special or general purpose backs possible.

A Expansion Device Specification could be created that standardises the type of physical and electrical connections to the phone. The phone could have a back that could have expantion backs that clip onto the current back of the phone. This could even be stackable for smaller add-on devices(until the size of the phone becomes unwieldy) or the add-on device could be exclusively controlled by the phone e.g. Camera with telephoto lenses where the phone controls the camera.

Some basic ideas:

  • powered USB hub: 4 AA battery slots, 4 USB sockets
  • camera: 4 AA battery slots, camera, external SD slot
  • business: 4 AA battery slots, slide out keyboard, wifi
  • writer: 4 AA battery slots, fold-out keyboard, 1 USB and 1 VGA socket
  • Item tracking: Barcode/RFID reader
  • Distance Measurement: Range finder
  • Sales: Receipt Printer/Credit card transaction

This probably belongs to: /*Ideas which require major modifications of the phone */ The phone should consist of 1 base unit with:

 - VGA touch screen for stylus input and media display
 - WiFi radio for web browsing and Voip
 - Bluetooth stereo for MP3
 - Power management/Batteries
 - Buttons -- reset; up-down for volume; ESC/home/clear(non-essential but convenient)
 - Misc. -- USB/SD flash card slot/mono-speaker(for handfree/navigation)/Vibrator/Finger-print reader

Up to 2 expansion modules, 1 for each end of the base unit with options like:

 - GSM or CDMA or HSDPA with built-in SIM/antenna for whatever the local market dictates
 - GPS module (US/Russia/Galileo) with built-in antenna
 - WiMax
 - Extra storage; e.g. 8Gbyte harddisk/flash-disk
 - Smart-card reader
 - Or any other un-dreamed-of modules as long as enough of the main-board interface pins are provided

Even without any expansion modules, the base unit is interesting/attractive enough as a mass market personal media player cum communicator. The rest should be left to the local market to decide.

But with GPS and 3G expansion modules added, the whole gizmo will start to look like


Minus the keyboard/camera AND the WM6 OS.

I guess it should be reorganised, because of hard accessability of microSD card, which should be able to plug in/out quickly. --tolein 18:11, 1 October 2007 (GMT+1)

IMHO, solar back is a good one, maybe a sticky foil with a flat cable add on ;-) ?

I would also like to see slots longside of the GTA02 that would allow a slide on QUERY keyboard connected via the USB port which would have 1. flash-card multi-reader (at least SDA) 2. 4 (+4) AAA power-up (to be thin ;-) ) 3. a full but compact plastic-key QUERY keyboard 4. 2x A-host-USB ports (like for a flash-disk) 5. B-gadget-USB port (like for a PC) and would be able to fold tight with the GTA and make it a palm-top-PC

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