Not just a phone

steve steve at
Sun Jul 20 23:09:45 CEST 2008

like so


From: community-bounces at
[mailto:community-bounces at] On Behalf Of doron
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 6:44 AM
To: List for Openmoko community discussion
Cc: Michael Shiloh
Subject: Re: Not just a phone

Hi Michael / all,

Sorry for my late response.

I think that innovation is the big and the first challenge that the Openmoko
and the community have.

After 35 years of property industry (the cellular industry)  it is easy to
talk about innovation but it is not easy to be innovative - we all have some
"imagination blocking".

To be innovative the first thing to do is define what is the FreeRunner

some of us talk about "phone" or "cellphone", my Freerunner is not phone or
cellphone. as far as I know cellphones have a limited OS with a limited
functionality, I didn't see any of those in my Freerunner (it use cellular
network) .

It's also not a "smart phone", smartphones is a phone that the manufacturer
add it some extra functionality, smartphone was plan to be an extension of
my computer, but my smartphone did't do it, the reason is the limitation of
the property software.
Basically, the manufacturer defined what is the extensions - and thats all.

so, my Freerunner is not a cellphone and is not a smartphone and it
definitely not a pda .

It is a personal communication device (or center) that connecting my with
the rest of the world, on the other side it is an extension of my computer.

so basically, I am looking for a new ways to connect me to the world from
one side and from the other side I am looking for a new way to connect with
my computer.

for example, we can check what is the blackberry. Rim, didn't build a new
way to communicate, they just think different and build a device that use a
regular tools to connect me to the world - this is innovation of the
connection process between people based on regular tools.

I don't know what's about your freerunner - but I want that my freerunner
will be more then that.

but, first of all, we need to think different.
location aware services - it easy .. voip - also easy (etc) - all this
services and tools it's great (must to have)(and of course, we can improve
this services for better live), but I hope that we can do more then that , I
think that this is the real challenge.

also, I hope that the next hardware version have a bigger screen (I need to
communicate with the device ) and a wimax chip will make my life

- doron

Michael Shiloh wrote:

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 


* 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 


* 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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