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General => General Chat => Topic started by: smashedProton on September 11, 2013, 12:41:33 am

Title: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: smashedProton on September 11, 2013, 12:41:33 am
Phonebloks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDAw7vW7H0c#)
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: c4757p on September 11, 2013, 12:44:40 am
"Man, this weed is good."
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: marshallh on September 11, 2013, 01:12:08 am
Saw that earlier today.
The implementation is pretty much physically impossible. You can't drive high freq nets into a 10x10 pcb i/o crossbar and expect it to work, even if you had a 100 layer pcb to play around with.
Now the only potential I see here is for a generic skeleton pcb with fixed locations for the hardware. I.e. radio goes in upper left, period, not movable or sizable.
Same for CPU and memory. Put them on a block with a ultra fine spring tip connector on the backplane pcb.

All this overhead adds to the cost, so it'll be much more expensive than a commodity phone, bulkier, heavier, and less power efficient. But at least you'd be able to swap out the CPU with a faster one so you can run all those crap javascript abstractions.
I can see it now, upgrade board every 6 months to keep your 10 second hangup time from getting even worse with updates...
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: c4757p on September 11, 2013, 01:14:21 am
All those connectors will make it so unreliable you won't be able to upgrade it by the time new parts come out. The USB port on these damn things is bad enough, imagine if the cost-cutters had to juggle a dozen high-speed interconnects...
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: Psi on September 11, 2013, 01:36:06 am
As a pure idea I really like it. It would be great if you could easily replace or later upgrade a battery or screen or even increase the memory or most appealingly the processor core rather than contributing to e-waste.

Same.   
I class this in the category of 'good ideas that are so good that they will probably never happen'.

That said, as electronics get smaller and smaller and it becomes less easy for product manufactures to interact with them directly (beyond BGA etc) it does start to make sense to have things modularised straight from the manufacture.
At that point something like this may become feasible if manufactures standardise on the module specs.
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: smashedProton on September 11, 2013, 01:48:52 am
I think that the concept of upgrading the hardware on the phone is pretty dumb.  You would only ever want to change out the cpu and the memory at the same time otherwise you would have a major bottleneck.  Also, you would want to change out the battery with the cpu and memory to account for the different power requirements of the new hardware.  A much better idea is to have a properly designed cell phone that you replace as a whole when technology has evolved. 
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: c4757p on September 11, 2013, 01:53:03 am
I think the average phone owner is about as likely to upgrade hardware as the average PC owner - not very likely. Aunt Sally doesn't add RAM, she buys a new computer when hers gets slow - even though it's only slow because it's caked with her crap! :-DD The same would be true of a phone.
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: pickle9000 on September 11, 2013, 02:57:26 am
A more likely scenario is a single chip with everything on it that plugs into the case of your choice. Kinda sucks if your not a chip designer though.
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: staxquad on September 11, 2013, 04:53:27 am
the screen resolution is being upgraded all the time, which is the base, so their concept is obsolete already, they are try9ing to keep one component static while improving the rest, not real world



 
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: BravoV on September 11, 2013, 05:12:52 am
Isn't the current "proven" business model and also the most important factor which is the consumers them self are willing dying to have a new look/feature/get bored every year that made this concept looks pale, even technically its possible.

Asking the current consumerism addicted mob to stick with the same model, look and feel even with upgraded feature "internally" for long period is suicide from the current cell phone business perspective, cmiiw.  :-//
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: rexxar on September 11, 2013, 05:13:02 am
the screen resolution is being upgraded all the time, which is the base, so their concept is obsolete already, they are try9ing to keep one component static while improving the rest, not real world

The screen was also upgradable.
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: AlfBaz on September 11, 2013, 05:15:26 am
Bugger phones, this seems like a good idea for lego to move into the 21st century :)
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: MatCat on September 11, 2013, 05:16:25 am
Interesting that the official webpage goes to a blankly setup apache page, rofl.
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: PA4TIM on September 11, 2013, 06:07:56 am
Custommer: Great, I want the bigger camara, bigger memory, bigger battery and bigger speaker, please.
Salesguy: that is not possible
Custommer: What do you mean with "that is not possible ? " Oh, the case is to small, so if I choose a better camara it will cost me battery space, memory and storagespace ? That sucks.....

The first breadboard phone
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: Psi on September 11, 2013, 06:48:07 am
Oh, the case is to small, so if I choose a better camara it will cost me battery space, memory and storagespace ? That sucks.....

That's life, and applies to everything.
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: Corporate666 on September 11, 2013, 07:01:46 am
This guy is well intentioned, but incredibly naive about business, about electronics, about marketing, about sales, about R&D, about inventory, about retail, about distribution, about IP, about technology and about pretty much every single important point one needs to be a successful entrepreneur.

It's like saying "I have a great idea.  It's for a flying car that packs into a suitcase as you jump out of it.  It runs on anti-gravity so it can never fall from the sky, and it will never break down.  All we need is a hundred million people to agree to the idea, and we'll go to Apple and they will make it for us".

Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: PA4TIM on September 11, 2013, 07:22:29 am
Quote
it's like saying "I have a great idea.  It's for a flying car that packs into a suitcase as you jump out of it.  It runs on anti-gravity so it can never fall from the sky, and it will never break down.  All we need is a hundred million people to agree to the idea, and we'll go to Apple and they will make it for us".

Sounds like a good idea, and if Apple won't make that i-car, we go tho Microsoft and they build it with a W8, onlt downside will be the ctrl-alt-del keys to shut down the engine.
Or better, lets make an open source version of that car, and call it a linuxine
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on September 11, 2013, 08:30:17 am
Nice idea in principle but they are clearly totally clueless about electronics and marketing - companies don't want to work together to make the best phone, they want to make the biggest profit.
hopelessly impractical.
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: amyk on September 11, 2013, 10:39:32 am
To a certain extent, phone upgrades/repairs occur a lot more in China (http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=283). There is of course no standard form factor but due to cost/labour reduction (and desire to cloning) a lot of the manufacturers have converged to the same designs using the same components.
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: Sionyn on September 12, 2013, 09:29:53 am
this will never work
Phonebloks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDAw7vW7H0c#)
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: dexters_lab on September 12, 2013, 06:26:12 pm
yea saw this posted on my FB, my first thoughts were yea i would like to see that work in the real world  :palm:

it just hasn't been thought through

far better to just put the effort into making things more recyclable
Title: Is the Phonebloks concept phone even possible?
Post by: youbecha on September 12, 2013, 11:37:11 pm
I am not going to advertise for it, but search for phonebloks or just open up the internet and you will see some push for it.  (at least all over the tech media)...there is a feel good video attached to the story.

The concept is an entirely modular cellphone.  every component is in its own box, with magic pins to connect all the boxes to each other and to a display...and every portion of the phone can be re-arranged added or subtracted...like legos.  (or 80's era bread board components for teaching electronics in college)

The purpose is to reduce electronic waste by only changing components that are broke, and only buying components that you need.

I personally think as a minimum the entire phone would double in size (so still tons of waste) just to account for all the additional packaging...not to mention signal length issues, and RF issues...and how the heck to wire it...

What say you?
Title: Re: Is the Phonebloks concept phone even possible?
Post by: Legit-Design on September 12, 2013, 11:41:37 pm
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/wtf-is-he-thinking!/ (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/wtf-is-he-thinking!/)

Title: Re: Is the Phonebloks concept phone even possible?
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on September 12, 2013, 11:43:03 pm
Possible, yes (though not the way they picture it), but  it would be too big, heavy and expensive for anybody to want it.
 
Title: Re: Is the Phonebloks concept phone even possible?
Post by: MacAttak on September 12, 2013, 11:54:23 pm
"Possible" is a big word. Very few things in this universe are NOT possible, given enough time.
Title: Re: Is the Phonebloks concept phone even possible?
Post by: xrunner on September 12, 2013, 11:57:05 pm
"Possible" is a big word. Very few things in this universe are NOT possible, given enough time.

That's what we used to tell the bosses when I was still working. They'd ask us if such-and-such a project was possible. We'd always reply -

"Well, anything is possible given enough time and money"
Title: Re: Is the Phonebloks concept phone even possible?
Post by: youbecha on September 12, 2013, 11:57:33 pm
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/wtf-is-he-thinking!/ (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/wtf-is-he-thinking!/)

Sorry, didn't see that topic.
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: Galenbo on September 13, 2013, 12:19:27 am
What an extreme good idea, he worked hard at it and got a perfect result !!!!

(making a clean video, choose the kind of public stupid enough to believe anything, got shared around on socialistic media, and most of all: with an unexistable product !)

A big marketing career is waiting for him.

Only the pope does better.

Title: Re: Is the Phonebloks concept phone even possible?
Post by: Stonent on September 13, 2013, 12:38:32 am
I used to have an idea where they should make the radio module of the phone a universal part so you can upgrade the phone from HSPA to LTE for example. But now it seems the phones are going the way where they're not supposed to be opened.
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: Stonent on September 13, 2013, 12:52:56 am
There's a way I could see this maybe working but not nearly as granular as he wants it.

You'll need to separate the things logically.  All the high-speed stuff will need to be in the same block. CPU/GPU/RAM would all have to be in the same block and provide an external USB and LVDS interface. The radio would interface over USB as well as the camera. Storage is easy, just use MicroSD.

The problem comes is just like a real computer, you need drivers. Unless they figure out a way to provide a generic interface where the block only communicates on a high level.

Problems:
1. Phone would be bigger than now
2. Phone would be more expensive because of less integration. If Qualcomm could make a single chip that does CPU, GPU, RAM, RADIO, BT, WLAN why not?
Title: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: WarSim on September 13, 2013, 01:15:53 am

Possible, yes (though not the way they picture it), but  it would be too big, heavy and expensive for anybody to want it.
 
But look at the positive side.  With all the required interconnects nobody will loose their phone again. 
The bag phone is returning and those are too big to loose.  :)
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: kizzap on September 13, 2013, 05:11:16 am
A thought came to mind, I don't know how effective it would be, but would it not be possible to use fibre optics for data transmission? leaving only a power requirement for the block connections?

-kizzap
Title: Re: WTF is he thinking?!
Post by: peter.mitchell on September 13, 2013, 09:58:30 am
A thought came to mind, I don't know how effective it would be, but would it not be possible to use fibre optics for data transmission? leaving only a power requirement for the block connections?

-kizzap

I doubt it, you'd then need a fiber transceiver to connect to the "components" in the blocks, making the blocks even bigger and more expensive.