Not just a phone (was: Re: ancient hardware?)

Michael Shiloh michael at
Mon Jul 7 19:29:01 CEST 2008

Peter, your email below is the one I've been trying to write for the 
past few months.

Like you, what got me excited about this project was NOT the possibility 
of building better cellphone applications, but rather the possibility of 
creating radically new uses for a general purpose, location aware, 
connected handheld computer.

I'd like a phone that syncs seamlessly with Thunderbird and the rest of 
my Linux workstyle. But what really turns me on is the potential uses 
that I can't even imagine yet.

It is that innovation that I hope to see come out of this community, and 
I hope that in some way I can help make it happen.


Peter Harrison wrote:
> I wouldn't focus on the age of the hardware at all.
> The real question is whether this will be a hardware platform that 
> others will be able to build innovation on top of. With phone companies 
> making available only applications which earn them money you have not 
> really seen the same kind of innovation that we saw in the PC space in 
> the early 90's.
> It will no doubt be a success in its own right, but what about other 
> ideas...
> * IP phone over Wifi and integrate with Asterisk IP phone systems - 
> changes to GSM outside the office.
> * In car navigation system.
> * Low cost taxi fare system.
> * Courier driver system that minimizes route time and allows dispatch to 
> communicate.
> * Robotic platform and robotic control
> * Hospitals - used by nurses and doctors for prescriptions and 
> observations as low cost tablet.
> The Neo could open up hundreds of vertical market opportunities that the 
> Telco's currently have no interest in tapping. If you think that the Neo 
> is simply a different kind of iPhone you are missing the point. Many 
> applications may use GPRS, but may not even implement phone 
> functionality. Some may not even use GSM. To me the attraction is that 
> it has been designed from the ground up to run Linux, and there is a 
> dedicated team working on the frameworks that will make delivery of 
> these applications possible.
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