Kt
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:31 pm

Re: An open/free/secure/modular/extendable Raspberry Pi smartphone

Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:55 am

Hi,

Living in the US, I am tired of being forced to buy new cellphones repeatedly whenever I change a provider, or whenever the crappy hardware breaks. It is both wasteful for the environment and expensive. I also don't like closed source software on my phone, and I don't like it when my phone spies on me, or when it breaks into pieces when I drop it from the second floor. It's also amazing to me that in this day and age no phone OS that I am aware of implements whole disk encryption by default.

In short, I want to build my own smartphone that is everything these others are not.

I envision a Raspberry Pi providing the main guts of the smartphone, as well as an LCD touchscreen, CMOS camera with flash, USB Mic, USB GPS module, USB Bluetooth/Wifi a/b/g/n module, and USB GSM data modem(with a data-only plan,.. going VOIP-only for simplicity and cost I think.).

I'd also like to build a chorded keyset into the smartphone rather than a QWERTY keyboard. A Li-Ion or Li-Po battery of 5000mAh-10000mAh (which would hopefully last a couple of days without charging) would be nice… When it does need charging I want to somehow fit in a folding AC plug so it can just plug into the wall (Who carries around chargers everywhere they go???)

I'd like to try and fit all this into as small a 3d-printed case as possible, but it will no doubt be on the large side as smartphones go.

My main concern is with the closed-source graphics/media drivers, I am wondering what can be left out or replaced and still have a functioning GUI interface. Text-mode cellphone is not something I want to try out.

Any input/comments welcome. If there are others building Rasberry Pi phones in the future we should trade notes!

Baconator
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:25 pm

Re: An open/free/secure/modular/extendable Raspberry Pi smartphone

Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:27 am

It's gonna end up as large as a 80's cellphone.
Smartphones nowadays are compromised of modules designed for each specific model, to increase battery life and performance while keeping size down.

Especially with a 5000mAh battery.
For example, the Samsung Galaxy SII which is pretty much one of the beefiest smartphone a ordinary individual with money can buy has only a 1650 mAh battery at nominal 3.7 Volt.
And that battery is around 1/3rd of the phones total mass.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 26053
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: An open/free/secure/modular/extendable Raspberry Pi smartphone

Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:57 pm

It's not really the best SoC for a phone device, but it would work.

If you write your own framebuffer graphics code (or use an OpenSOurce set) you can get away with the Arm doing all the graphics. Basic but OK.
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cloudsloth
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: An open/free/secure/modular/extendable Raspberry Pi smartphone

Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:55 pm

I'm very excited others are thinking in similar ways to me. I hope we can collaborate on this project. I have envisioned a very similar device, with perhaps less emphasis on being a full function phone but having many other mobile applications. Here are the components I am planning to start with:

Gameboy Color case

Iphone 4g LCD touch screen via DSI interface

1" speaker (stereo?)

3 port USB hub

USB wireless adapter

USB Bluetooth dongle

2x available USB ports for keyboard/mouse

HDMI available

Audio jack available - possibly split this to play plugged in if available, but onboard speaker if not

I'm particularly excited about having a mobile device that can be hooked up to a full size screen and take keyboard/mouse.

I am not sure it is feasible to construct a literal cell phone from the rpi, but emulating the functionality with VoIP programs and possibly even using a contract USB > 4g adapter to enable access at all times is very interesting to me.

I have a few concerns about the hardware for all of this. At what point are we overloading the USB bus? Can it handle being hubbed out to 6 USB ports running a mic, gps, bluetooth, wireless, keyboard, and mouse all at the same time without causing problems?

I am assuming the DSI interface is considered to be lower priority than the HDMI out – can anyone confirm this? I would like to display on the DSI LCD display only when nothing is connected to the HDMI, but use the HDMI when available.

Let me know if any of my ideas seem helpful, and I'd like to continue hearing what you're planning. So far my bill of materials seems to be under $100. Do you have a target for yours?

Deazdaar
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:10 am

Re: An open/free/secure/modular/extendable Raspberry Pi smartphone

Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:24 am

Hey,

I've planned a similar project, though not quite that sophisticated.

At minimum I want GSM / GPRS functionality for phone calls & text messages, LCD touchscreen and of course battery operation.

I already ordered this: http://www.mikroe.com/eng/prod.....ttm1-board which looks quite promising but on the other hand needs @ minimum 9V supply.

Writing software to control it will be not that hard considering the AT command and RS232 support and MIC-In / Speaker Out is already on-board.

Looking forward for your oppinions!

cloudsloth
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: An open/free/secure/modular/extendable Raspberry Pi smartphone

Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:39 pm

Kt, I am curious about the specific devices you're looking at for:

USB GSM Data Modem

USB GPS

USB Mic

USB Hub

george.endrulat
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:17 pm

Re: An open/free/secure/modular/extendable Raspberry Pi smartphone

Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:07 pm

I really do hope you get this off the ground.  I would build one in a heartbeat.  Great idea and good luck.

-edit: couple of thoughts

usb 3g/4g "laptop stick" type of internet would be just fine, then we can set up serval or some kind of asterisk / google voice / voip based calling over strictly data.  Good stuff.

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