OM future

Iain B. Findleton ifindleton at
Tue Feb 23 19:01:55 CET 2010

Mike Crash wrote:
> Actually, I don't know, why everybody needs a phone. The community should aim
> at simple PDA with GPS, WiFi, BT and camera. This all is without any license
> fees and can be made to work. The phone is nice, but do you really need such
> a device, where you can navigate in car/outdoors and in the same time take a
> call? I will prefer a simple small commercial phone with other such device.
> If I drive in car, I don't need WiFi, just a GSP, if I'm outdoors, I need
> GSP, if I'm in restaurant, I need WiFi, if I'm in bus stop, I need BT to
> connect to my phone with GPSR. I need only one such a function at a time,
> but what I need always - is a phone. I want to call when I'm in a car, in a
> bus stop, in a restaurant, in a wood and I don't want to break my
> navigation, mailing, browsing every time I get a phone.
> A phone has wifi and GPS as a nice option, but to have separate device with
> all that functionality is much more usable. I'm using Neo as PDA without sim
> card. I'm glad how it works - in last update to xorg 7.5 the glamo works
> very well and fast. EFL is very fast on that, GTK is worse. We should aim at
> software now.
> The next step should be to make nice PDA device with GPS, WiFi and BT and
> with OLED display (LCD is out). Camera would be nice, but not needed. Forget
> the phone, it will be always problem for open source.
> There is not big problem in designing such a device. And also, it will have
> longer life then a phone. But - will there be enough people, who will buy
> it? It needs to manufacture thousands of units - so thousands of buyers.
> Will be? If yes, we can design such a device and I will be first, who will
> start to draw a schematic. 
> We can create a phone as a next step in the future, but not now. This is a
> very bad idea.
Don't really agree at all with this position. It appears to me to be
pretty clear
that as hardware improves more and more things now done on laptops will
be done on handheld devices with phone/wifi/bluetooth/ir capabilities. Right
now you can comfortably run a small business on your Neo. In future, such
a device will have large memory, fast processing, low power consumption,
better graphics and more applications.

If anything, more sensors (weather, compass, software radio, broadcast
signals, ir)
would expand the use of the single device. I observe my kids, who pretty
much do everything I
use a laptop or desktop for on their phones. Theonly complaint is the
phone is slow compared
to the other machines. This will certainly become an artifact over the
next few years.

The Neo to me is the rough equivalent of a 2000 vintage laptop with
significant improvements
in capabilities. While I don't know if the openmoko crowd can make any
progress on a next
generation device, someone will make such progress, and I believe that
is where the future
of personal use computing will go.

Improvements in human interface design are needed to make these things
easier to use,
but think of MSDOS and what we consider normal today. The same leap of
will occur on these phone like devices.

I also want to have to carry less techno-junk, not more. Its true that
single purpose devices
are easier to produce, but a pocket full of them weighs you down,
requires you to learn
more procedures for different devices, and you run out of plugs in the
house for chargers.

Iain F.

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