Phone

Slack: #phone

Idea

The idea behind the Octanis Phone (better name needed) is to create a mobile phone that can't do what smartphones do best: breaking. I had several mobile phones and all of them are broken, including a Nokia 3210 (the unbreakable one, or not). As people start to expect that one can be reached all the time, a phone should be capable of following a person wherever they go without breaking. In short, if the human survives, the phone does as well.

Goals

The goal is to create a robust and reliable phone that can be used without taking care of it, giving more importance to maybe unconventional problems. The second goal is to try out things that are not implemented in standard phones like for example an e-ink display. A third goal is an educational aspect, to learn what is required for a mobile phone to work.

The wishlist for this phone is the following:

  • waterproof (and floating)
  • extremly robust
  • can be sat on without discomfort (backpocket)
  • long battery lifetime (1 month standby, 1 day calling)
  • display that can be easily read in sunlight / dark
  • no need to look at display for using it (eyes free mode)
  • handles all the standard communication (SMS, calls, mails, telegram)
  • no special equipment required for using it
  • cheap
  • entirely open source

In technical terms, what so far is known this means:

  • density < 1g/cm^3
  • e-ink display
  • Rubber T9 keyboard
  • micro-USB charger
  • size 10 x 60 x 115 mm^3
  • weight < 69g

First Draft

Tasks The following areas can be split up to work in parallel:

  • Connectivity (UMTS module, wifi module …)
  • Display (select e-ink display, create software library, local update capability)
  • Buttons (Choose waterproof concept for buttons, interface them to MCU)
  • Battery (Charging and monitoring circuit, battery selection)
  • Audio (Microphone and Speaker, waterproofing, amplifiers)
  • Brain (MSP432 MCU, write OS and applications)
  • Waterproofing and indestructability (Find and remove weaknesses e.g. waterproof charging port)

Software organisation The current idea is to have a separate task per hardware item and a central system task that executes the active application code. The different tasks communicate using message boxes, allowing the input tasks to be interrupt based. The different core tasks are the following:

  • System
  • Keyboard
  • Cellular
  • Display