If front facing stereo speakers were possible that would be an interesting option to consider?!
Just considering playing games and watching videos etc…
Would you guys consider something more advanced than a traditional phone design or do you prefer to stick to what you already know?
Eve will do whatever community wants provided it can sell well enough (they do market analysis and see if it’s viable or not). So depending on how that idea of ‘doing something more advanced than a traditional phone design’ progresses it could be made.
I do, as a personal opinion, think Eve would take a low risk approach as a product that doesn’t well much can leave the company in bad shape or even send it to bankruptcy. As revolutionary products are normally expensive (R&D consumes a lot of resources!) and few people outside the ‘tech enthusiast’ group are willing to buy a product that doesn’t conform to the norm (most times these people don’t even get to know that product exists) unless it is really well done, it’s a difficult sell. From Eve’s perspective, they might want to improve existing products or be in markets which have proved consumer interest, or most importantly, large output potential growth.
I understand that Eve would try to back/make what the community wants so I was really asking the question of the community.
I have over a decade of experience in embedded systems development with a specific interest in the mobile devices space. I am very familiar with the trends in the industry and have closely watched the evolution of the consumer mobile phone/communicator for well over a decade. In that time I have seen several mistakes made by industry giants and smaller players alike with many of the mistakes being blatantly obvious to me in some cases long before billions of dollars were wasted (most recently, HPs Elite x3 and Sony’s Xperia XZ which both started off in the right direction but then made wrong turns somewhere along the way… just watch what happens).
I believe the mobile phone market has reached its post-saturation point where the traditional device designs and form factors are concerned. It would in my professional opinion be a mistake for any player to spend a large percentage of their R&D budget and resources to start the development of a traditional smartphone at this point in time. Incremental upgrades to the form-factor such as curved/wrap-around displays, keyboard modules or high-resolution & cameras are also not enough.
In my opinion the wearables space is the future for mobile devices. Unfortunately the examples created so far by the major brands have been weak, insipid and uninspired attempts to extend the shelf-life of the dying smartphone form factor. I refer to the rubbish smartwatches that everyone and their grandmother has been making in the past several years that are just pointless extensions of the smartphone in their owners’ pockets and are mostly incapable of meaningful independent operation.
Over the past decade and a half, I channelled my knowledge and experience towards the hobbyist project of developing a concept for my vision of the future of wearable computers. In the early days, the state of the required technologies (processor power consumption and thermals, battery technology, display technology etc) would not permit a cost effective and practical version of this system to be built but by 2010/2011, I could see a possible way forward which leveraged cloud technology combined with the new and more powerful 64-bit arm SoCs.
I took the idea first to a Chinese OEM who could not deliver on the promises and after wasting a few hundred thousand dollars, I decided it might be better to get a seasoned development house to do the actual design and manufacturing. I then took it to Nexcrea whose NexPhone (yes, the precursor to the NexDock) shared similar design goals. Unfortunately, they could not raise the necessary private funding to pursue this project and still sore from my losses in the first round I was reluctant to invest more of my own money into the early development at that stage (translation: the wife wouldn’t let me ).
In 2012 I shared my design with a startup from Montreal who have since completely botched the project and even after raising over $1M on Indiegogo, are yet to ship a product to their now furious backers.
I still believe that my original vision could be the future of mobile computing and with the advancements in the supporting technologies and the changes in market trends that have happened in this space over the past 5 years, I think the time is ripe for a product like this to finally be made.
If the Eve Community is interested in this design, I will share the updated vision and design overview here with the hope that it will be done right this time around.
Let me know your thoughts…
That’s a good overview of the actual market and I agree with you that the idea of a mobile hub will be the future. Please share your concepts here and let see what happens😉
I’m definitely intrigued with what your ideas might be shout them out and lets discuss!
You’re right, the mobile market is saturated. But not all of it… Only the 5"/2GB and 5.5"/3GB segments Can you find a sub-5" phone that is available to buy in Europe and has at least 2GB RAM and a recent OS? (e.g. Android 6 or 7) I see only 2: Sony Xperia Z5 Compact and X Compact. Same can be said about phablets, but I don’t have specific examples as I’m not interested in that category.
Think about this: .3% still equates to millions of users. That market share also doesn’t account for the fact that many people don’t have the options they want to buy a new Windows mobile device so they are holding off. Now some people think several million people don’t matter, but if Eve used 1,000 devices as their baseline for success on the Eve V don’t you think potentially millions of Windows mobile fans is something worthy to shoot for?
Well, all i can say is if you go the Android route you can count me out. I’m sure you can put together another Community of android fans to make it work, but it seems pretty obvious there is some strong support for Windows mobile here, it would be a pity to ignore that and go with something else. For better or for worse, I’m staying with Windows through it’s journey.
Disclaimer: What I will post here is the culmination of over a decade and a half of my work and experience. Please be kind.
Ok, with that out of the way, there are few things that must first be considered for the design direction, even at the conceptual level.
1 A mobile wearable should not be a watch.
I have seen so many smart-watches over the past few years and before them, so many watch phones going as far back as Samsung’s SPH-WP10 in 1999. I have owned a few watch phones over those years as well and I can tell you both from professional and personal experience that a wearable that tries to be your watch will ultimately fail in the mass market.
There are so many issues with this approach, from the obvious style factor, to the impracticability of the tiny unusable screen that will no doubt grace its face.
Q: What happens when someone who wants to wear their favourite Chopard, Breguet or IWC buys a smartwatch-styled phone?
A: They will leave the smartwatch behind in favour of a traditional phone on the occasion that wearing two watches just would not work.
Remember, the wrist was not where that class of timepiece started. It started in the pocket and fashion and practicality dictated its final resting place on your forearm. So if we take a cue from history, we will see that copying the wrist watch isn’t the way forward for wearables.
2 The wearable should not be the accessory of a larger device but should be the core of an ecosystem.
Your usage scenarios should dictate what kind of UX and UI you have at the time. Therefore, the wearable should be small, kept out of the way and worn for the convenience of transportation. The ideal interaction with it should be done with a series of wireless dumb accessories designed to take your input and give output in a form-factor that matches the application.
3 Do not put a screen on it.
Aside from the obvious style issue (ala point #1), there is the fact that in order to be usable, your screen will dictate the size of the wearable and to a certain extent, its battery life.
Use an alternative method of display technology for the scenarios where you will be interacting with it directly, sans wireless accessories.
4 It must be water-resistant.
A practical wearable should be something you put on your body and not think about as you go about your day. Having to worry about your wearable when it rains, when you sweat or if you go to the pool is counter-intuitive and unnecessary with today’s technologies.
5 Battery life is everything and contactless wireless charging is a must.
Being able to charge your wearable without having to take it off will change the way people use it for the better. Contactless wireless charging that can put a few metres between you and the charger is the ideal solution and it exists today.
6 Processing power, storage and RAM are your make or break specs.
If you are going to build a wearable that is worth buying, it should be able to replace more than someone’s aging iPad. Today we can make a dual 64-bit processor wearable with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, that runs Windows 10 and has the power to rival your Core i5. It won’t be in the price range of your entry level Apple Watch or Asus ZenWatch but then, why should it be?
7 Understanding your target price point is important.
You wouldn’t expect to buy a new Core i5 powered ultra thin tablet for the price of a cheap smartwatch. So then don’t try to build a cutting edge wearable that can replace your tablet/laptop at the price point of the Apple Watch.
8 Security is paramount.
A wearable that is properly made will be more attractive than a traditional smartphone. This also means it’s more likely to be stolen. If your files are not well protected, then this will be yet another potential threat to your privacy and identity. If the wearable uses biometric security to encrypt its filesystem and has as few physical interfaces as possible, then while it may be a pretty target for thieves, it will be nothing more than a pretty paperweight without its owner.
9 Design from the perspective of jewellery first, technology second.
While many of us engineers tend to overlook the aesthetics of our creations as a vital point to be examined at the start of development, we should always remember that what something looks like can already be more than 50% of the battle won when you are trying to get the final product sold.
Taking the above points into consideration, the wearable should look like a piece of jewellery. It should be elegant, yet subtle. It must be something that a 15 year old will want to wear and at the same time, something that her 60 year old grandfather would wear as well. You must make it a piece of fine jewellery that takes design cues from the established fashion houses.
Do not make a piece of technology then slap a fashion brand on it after the fact, like some famous product designers have done.
10 Support multiple Operating Systems.
A worthwhile wearable must not be limited to just one OS like most traditional smartphones. As with a laptop/tablet PC, this is a portable computer that will be used by a diverse range of end users. Much like the Eve V, it must be able to support all of the major Operating Systems that may be used by its target market.
With these 10 pints as a discussion starter, I will give you guys some time to mull over the design direction before I post Part 2.
So the whole idea seems to converge in a fundamental point. A CPU on the wrist to enable any type of device you hold and with the possibility to switch between different OS.
Maybe I haven’t got your point and I’m not so keen on this type of subject but with actual intel CPUs is it feasible? I would be worried to keep something that reaches high temperatures on my wrist and if you want the wearable to be the core of an ecosystem it has to be powerfull like a PC cpu, not a “simple” Snapdragon.
Having totally fallen in love with the Eve philosophy, and now desperate to get my hands on my Eve V - I would love to see an Eve phone. It’s the natural next step for this company.
Whilst you could go mad, and throw every top tier component in there - what’s the point?
Surely the philosophy is to create something that perfectly blends form and function, it’s a phone after all! If you want a portable computing powerhouse, reach for your V.
I’d start with a reasonable expectation on price. Entry level has to be sub €500.
Set yourself apart; smart design with easy repairability. Imagine a phone held together with 4 screws! Dual sim, micro SD and a user replaceable battery, all hidden under a back cover that can be removed with a screw in each corner. Keeping the design simple and functional would lead to simpler water & dust proofing.
My personal preference would also be for Android OS… But in this case I’ll go with the community!
We discussed Neptune Suite a wee bit here on the community already.
To add to the discussion, what are the thoughts on a dual-boot phone?
Since many in the community seem to favor Android for the apps, but Windows Mobile for the UI, what if we could have both?
Also, a thought I had today at lunch - would it possible to run something similar to the Mac’s “Parallels” software on a mobile phone, to where with just a simple swipe, one could switch between two different operating systems?
This might be a separate topic, but thought I’d add.
It wouldn’t be possible because it relies on virtualization and ARM is no good for that
And dual boot mostly doesn’t work, either… Because Google won’t license Google Play to such a phone, so all the apps won’t be easily accessible. Not sure about Microsoft… The old Bill Gates’s Microsoft probably wouldn’t have allowed it either, but seems like they’re now desperately trying to get into the market forgetting their principles (they even ported WP to an Android device themselves).
LOL sorry, but you made my day a wearable with 512GB SSD running Windows? What would that be, a wearable helmet with a solar panel and a propeller on top?
@Fabio_CF: The new generation of 10nm arm processors such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 are anything but ‘simple’. These SoCs can each address 8GB RAM and potential revision may go as high as 12GB and the processor’s raw power can rival a Core i3 at this time.
Intel’s Atom processor line has been all but discontinued for PCs and so far nothing in that series had either the raw horsepower nor the thermal pedigree to be suitable for this application.
As for the OS support, I was suggesting that the system ships with one OS but is built to support more than one so the user decides what version he/she wants to have. In other words, instead of releasing a system with Android and waiting for the Jolla dev community to get SailfishOS running on it, it should be built with an available SailfishOS model, an Android model and a Windows Model for example. Let the user decide what they want to run. Of course what I have in mind would make options for Ubuntu Touch and Windows 10 available as well with x86 CPU emulation.
@Niloc: Thanks for the details on the discussion about the Neptune. I hadn’t seen that post on the forum so I didn’t know it was formally discussed before.
@pauliunas: I’m seriously beginning to question if you do any reading at all… You seem to have very strong opinions on things about which you clearly know nothing. If you don’t know, just read, learn something new and stop assuming. It is clear you know very little about arm architecture and performance, very little about the x86-32 hybrid virtualiszation you are so quick to dismiss, little or nothing about SSD technology and what is available today and even little about Microsoft’s historical business models, products and even their history. Please do some research before you make your next comment. I have no problem with an open fair discussion but it’s annoying to have someone constantly offer nothing but distracting noise to what should be a productive discussion.
Part 2 follows in a few…
Disclaimer: What I will post here is the culmination of over a decade and a half of my work and experience. Please be kind.
The following product design is powered by the much anticipated Qualcomm MSM8998 which you may know as the Snapdragon 835 10nm SoC, and shares design characteristics of the Neptune Suite and the Ritot Bracelet. The 10nm process produces a SoC with better thermal properties, making a wearable with this chip a much cooler running and practical device, while simultaneously offering PC-class performance.
It is rumoured that the upcoming OnePlus 4 smartphone will be powered by a single Qualcomm MSM8998 SoC bundled with 8GB RAM. Given the lower power consumption that should be expected of the MSM8998’s combination of LPDDR4X RAM and the 10nm manufacturing process, along with its thermal savings, these choices set the bar for the next generation of performance smartphones.
Today, high-quality, lowlight camera performance is a must and so this core product and its accessories should have main cameras of at least 23MP resolutions (with the exception of the bundled 4-inch accessory) with aperture sizes of at least f/1.6, laser autofocus or dual lens designs optimized for for low-light shooting. It should also integrate a 32MP main camera into the core device which will have another positioned on its opposing side (one at the top and one at the bottom of the wearer’s wrist respectively). The second, an 16MP with an aperture size of at least f/1.9 and a wide-angle lens, should be positioned as a front/selfie camera. With all cameras, we should pay careful attention to the choices of lenses and optical array designs.
With the concept of the Neptune Suite as a starting point, we should first re-imagine the hub as a screen-less, laser pico projector based bracelet, inspired by the the Ritot. This bracelet should be factory sealed carrying no ports or other openings in its body making it more effectively water resistant and along with all compatible accessories, will use wireless contact-less battery recharging technology licensed from Energeous. Furthermore, by standardizing the wireless link interface it uses, third-parties can create other compatible accessories for this product.
This is the preliminary specifications list:
• Dual Qualcomm MSM8998 (Snapdragon 835) 10nm SoCs (w/x86 emulation support)
• 16GB LPDDR4X RAM (2x8GB… yes insane, but keep reading)
• Dual Band 802.11ac
• 60GHz WiGig 802.11ad
• Bluetooth 5.0
• Dual LTE Cat.16 (Gigabit-class) radios
• Dual LTE 4G Machine-to-Machine UICC (M2M Form Factor/eSIM) support
• 6000-9000mAh battery from SolidEnergy Systems (yes, it is possible in that physical space, read here )
• Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0 (if compatible with the SolidEnergy Systems battery technology and Energous WattUP contactless charging technology)
• Onboard 512GB/1TB SSD using Samsung’s new V-NAND MLC based SSD technology
• 16MP front camera with embedded LED ring flash, f/1.9 aperture, OIS & EIS
• 32MP rear camera with embedded LED ring flash, f/1.7 aperture, OIS & EIS
• MicroVision PicoP® Embedded 1280x720 pixel resolution (720p) laser pico projector
• AGPS/GLONASS support
• 6-Axis Gyroscope
• Digital Compass
• Stereo speakers each positioned on opposing sides of the bracelet
• Dual Microphones
• Vibration motor
• Seiko Kinetic generator (to jump-start wireless charging module if battery is completely depleted)
• Fujitsu PalmSecure authentication technology (applied to wrist not palm)
• Energous WattUp contact-less charging
• IP67/MilSpec 810G (it is inevitable that a wearable will be dropped, bumped or accidentally submerged)
Part 3 will follow after this has been discussed.
Being honest I feel this would cost substantially more than Neptune Suite was advertised at on IGG. And I don’t know if it’s a project Eve would take on. It’s very experimental and “out there”. I would class the V as a “safe” design, as it’s similar enough to a Microsoft Surface while also improving on it.
This is just a whole new concept with previous examples of poor execution (no offense… I just find that IGG campaign heart breaking for the people that paid into it, and from the updates they get it seems like it’s miles away from fruition; and nothing like the original design).
I couldn’t entertain a system like this until it was fully fledged and out of design and securely into production. I don’t necessarily believe it’s achievable without a huge budget set aside for research.