On Mon 16 March 2015 22:00:42 Pascal Gosselin wrote:
> > On Mar 16, 2015, at 4:49 AM, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller <h...@goldelico.com> 
wrote:
> .....
> 
> > I am just curious to understand how people think and decide such things in
> > March 2015.
> Here's my take on this:
> 
> My particular vertical market need is for a very small computer that:
> 
> -Boots up upon receiving an external power (charging) signal.
> -Customizable boot code
> -Runs Linux and can run whatever full-blown Linux tool/app we need at
> startup/boot without any user intervention -Can acquire and use a GPS
> signal at 4Hz or better.
> -Has an audio input (headset/mic jack)
> -Has Wi-Fi
> -Has accelerometers
> -Has at least 8GB storage
> 
> The GTA02 does a fine job at the above, the external GPS antenna capability
> is a bonus. That's why we bought hundreds of them (everything Openmoko had
> left in 2010), for one particular vertical market use.
> 
> What (else) would we need in a GTA05 ?
> 
> -Better GPS (10Hz, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou, offline A-GPS)
> -LTE or at least "4G-ish" capability
> -GSM Certification to operate in major countries
> -Dual SIM card capability
> -Dual internal MicroSD cards (RAID)
> -Retain external GPS antenna port
> -Support Invensense IMU chip for advanced motion processing (9 DOF)
> -Barometer/Temp sensor
> -Infrared blaster
> -RFID/NFC capability
> -Fingerprint scanner
> -Built-in GPIOs with externally-accessible connector
> -USB OTG, USB 3.0 ?
> -Built-In Ethernet capability
> -Built-in A/D converter with externally accessible connector
> -Built-In RS-232/RS-422 ports, externally accessible
> -Built-in camera with an external port to add a remote cameras (say up to 3
> meters from device). Basically multiple USB 2.0 ports at a minimum. -A
> decent-sized multi-touch or Glove-Friendly screen (two versions ?), the
> GTA02 screen is much too small by modern standards (we only use the screen
> for stuff like Wi-Fi password data entry by the end user) -HDMI outputs
> (support two external screens)
> -Speakers (like all phones)
> -Offer various battery sizes (thicker backs).

Neo900 is _almost_ there already ;-)
STEP2 will definitely be  
http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?p=1444602&highlight=step2#post1444602

> 
> For the external connector for serial and GPIO, flat round contact pads with
> a docking station on the back like Garmin uses on many units.
> 
> I believe such an open device would be highly successful in a Kickstarter
> campaign. The M2M (Machine-to-Machine) market is huge. Such a device would
> have broad appeal. Size is not very important, the capability/connectivity:
> Yes!
> 
> Ubuntu phone, but for true hardware hackers and companies with vertical
> needs that are not met with current smartphones or by Raspberry Pi or
> Arduino platforms.
> 
> GTA04's limited 1Hz GPS was a killer for us... didn't bother finding USB
> camera options for the USB OTG on the GTA04 as a result, nor the mysterious
> built-in camera option (not ideal for us, remote camera is what we need).
> 
> The M2M folks want low-level hardware support (block diagrams, schematics,
> etc...) and open software drivers (abandonware is the problem here from
> commercial vendors).
> 
> Offer a version that's a smartphone and a bigger version that's basically a
> small computer with a built-in very smart UPS, with the ability to add
> expansion cards for non-mobile uses.
> 
> Personally I am not a purist, I don't mind inevitable closed aspects of some
> hardware/firmware that don't have open equivalents (the Invensense IMU
> stuff or LTE modem for example).  Nothing on the market offers what I'm
> looking for... and I'm sure I'm not alone seeking the Holy Grail of
> connected small mobile computer that's not iOS or Android.
> 
> The current proposed Ubuntu smartphones all have serious flaws (no microSD
> on the Meizu and on the EQ 4.5 they can't even bother mentioning which
> exact Mediatek processor they are using !!!) and pretty much none of the
> expandability and interface capability that I'd like to see in the device.
> 
> When you can't even publish a proper detailed hardware spec sheet for your
> Ubuntu phone, you know lower level support is going to be an absolute
> nightmare. That's what Ubuntu Phone is now.
> 
> Better yet, the phone could have an internal small expansion slot with
> routing to the external connector pads. Need a bizarre interface ? Build a
> board and you are done, no internal soldering mods required.

Neo900 has HackerBus for now:  
http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?p=1461954#post1461954
I know it's all not up to par with your requirements but you at least see 
we're heading into right direction :-)


> 
> I would expect demand for such a device from the Drone market alone to be
> massive.
> 
> More realistic than the current Phoneblocs-type project.  An open phone with
> a bunch of expansion ports. How hard can that be ?
> 
> What would it take ?  $5M ? $10M ?  $30M ?

STEP2 will need sth like that, yes. Going to start as soon as Neo900 proofed 
that we actually "can do"

cheers
jOERG

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