Author Topic: Superscreen  (Read 6357 times)

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Offline sambran

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Superscreen
« on: March 27, 2017, 02:09:19 pm »
I came across this today.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/brentmorgan/superscreen

To be honest I don't know much about wireless screen mirroring. They claim 0 lag and I am really curious how they plan to do this with the radios that are built in to the phone.

 

Offline josem

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2017, 04:13:12 pm »
Uh oh so much technical mumbo-jumbo but it's more than obvious they can't deliver on their claims. Even if they had developed proprietary radio protocols they're obviously limited to what the platform supports.

Also if they're just mirroring the phone screen all they can do is have the same resolution but bigger pixels.
 

Online BravoV

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2017, 04:41:54 pm »
....... wireless ...... claim 0 lag ....

Looking at the above two phrases, even my grandma said ...

"Wireless transmission will never beat wire, when it comes to latency ..."

Enough said.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 04:49:03 pm by BravoV »
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 05:43:24 pm »
 I don't think lag will be an issue, unless you stare at both screens at the same time and see one lagging the other.

SO basically, this is a BT 4.1 second screen. They could do much more with it - if they also did drivers for Windows/Linux/OSX.

I already have an app that works in reverse - I can use my iPad as an extra screen in Windows. It works pretty well, the small size is the limiting factor, but it's big enough for email, or skype chat windows. The Android/iOS app for this is probably the real hard part. Hmm, I have a spare 15" laptop LCD, I should see what I can make out of it.

 

Offline josem

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2017, 05:57:29 pm »
BT doesn't have even close to the bandwidth necessary for display mirroring.

They could so something with AirPlay or Miracast over WiFi but it would never have even half the features they list. It would be a dumb screen.

There is an app that kind of does this - https://www.duetdisplay.com - but it only works over USB
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 06:00:40 pm by josem »
 

Offline josem

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 11:20:22 pm »
In the latest update he claims to have already moved to Shenzhen to start production already and posted some of the "factory" photos, but could by anything really.

He also posted a Full Board X-Ray (which to me is just weird) of supposedly the device.

It strikes me odd that while he claims the tablet will have USB-C this X-Ray is showing a MicroUSB port. There's also some sort of mystery 2 pin "power pod" connector - in addition to the battery connector - and a physical reset button (do tablets still come with these?)

Anyone has any opinions on this based on the X-Ray?

It's really painfully obvious the whole thing is scam central and either he'll deliver something that won't meet most of his claims or most likely not deliver anything at all. Maybe the Kickstarter will fund his continuing stay in China away for a very long time ($1.3 Million as it stands will last a long time there)
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 11:22:29 pm by josem »
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2017, 06:27:09 am »
In the latest update he claims to have already moved to Shenzhen to start production already and posted some of the "factory" photos, but could by anything really.
He also posted a Full Board X-Ray (which to me is just weird) of supposedly the device.

Seems to me that "Superscreen" is essentially a generic $99 tablet, with some additional software for screen sharing and remote control to connect it to the phone? Obviously you can buy these in many different flavors today, and I have no doubt that most of them are manufactured in Shenzhen.

Hence, I don't think that this project is a total scam and that they don't intend, or are unable, to deliver. But I am concerned that the user experience may not be as great as they claim: Can the remote touch screen operation really feel smooth and lag-free? Can they deliver 12 to 15 hours of battery life? What screen quality can I expect in a $99 tablet?

The technical specs look good enough. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/brentmorgan/superscreen/faqs
I have not been in the market for a tablet during the last couple of years. Can you realistically provide that feature set for $99? Memory and CPU are limited, and that's probably OK for this application. The screen resolution looks good -- but it probably has to be a low-contrast, limited viewing angle affair to get to this price point?
 

Offline josem

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2017, 10:02:52 am »
Now when asked about the USB-C / MicroUSB difference he claimed the X-Ray was for a prototype and the final will have USB-C but not MicroHDMI.



Hence, I don't think that this project is a total scam and that they don't intend, or are unable, to deliver. But I am concerned that the user experience may not be as great as they claim: Can the remote touch screen operation really feel smooth and lag-free? Can they deliver 12 to 15 hours of battery life? What screen quality can I expect in a $99 tablet?

To me if they deliver some el cheapo tablet that doesn't really half of what they claim it's still a scam.

I mean just read this straight from their FAQ and tell me they're not pulling a fast one:

How does Superscreen function technically?
Superscreen uses high performance hardware communications circuitry and layouts with a specialized Wi-Fi/BT mesh along with proprietary software (all patents pending), on IEEE 802.11 protocols to transmit and receive data between the Superscreen and your smartphone.

Publically available data streamed from the net, not specific to the user, does not warrant and will not be encrypted. For this public data we will SALT cryptography. Umm

"Mesh" between two devices and  one of them - the phone - they don't even control. Also some SALT cryptography thrown in for good measure :popcorn:
Of course there are no pending patents to be found, however we can find his prior patents such as :

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation device
https://www.google.com/patents/US9539172

That sounds very noble and , so what is it actually? Well you can see it in the attached photo - it's a device designed to crush babies!

It's amazing how he moved from this truly life-shaterring medical field to high performance custom WiFi protocols - and does it all himself, even claiming to have assembled his own prototype tablet from 717 parts: ("To be more specific, let me say that every device you see on our page and in our videos was built by my hands with 717 off-the-shelf components")

Also he only has one software guy.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 10:46:34 am by josem »
 

Offline sambran

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2017, 01:21:48 am »
it's a device designed to crush babies!

 :-DD :-DD :-DD
 

Offline josem

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2017, 11:08:14 pm »
Project is now approaching $2 million pledged.

One guy, his secretary in China and a software dev in Minsk (Belarus) to ship 15000 tablets sold at an impossible price (for the claimed spec) by year end.

This will go so well.
 

Offline KE5FX

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2017, 11:48:48 pm »
I'm completely lost.  Why is this useful if I have an iPad or similar tablet?  :-//
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2017, 12:10:16 am »
For $119, if using all cheapest parts (screens from outdated tablets NOS screens, SoC from AllWinner, flash and RAM from Taiwanese B-brand), I cannot see it's economically impossible.
Also, in China, BOM can be above 90% retail price while still making profit.
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2017, 03:45:22 am »
For $119, if using all cheapest parts (screens from outdated tablets NOS screens, SoC from AllWinner, flash and RAM from Taiwanese B-brand), I cannot see it's economically impossible.

But the first 10,000 units went for $99, not $119. And the specs (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/brentmorgan/superscreen/faqs) describe quite a decent screen and a Mediatek quad-core processor.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2017, 04:21:40 am »
But the first 10,000 units went for $99, not $119. And the specs (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/brentmorgan/superscreen/faqs) describe quite a decent screen and a Mediatek quad-core processor.

MT8173 sells at $20 on Taobao, the RAM and flash combined can be less than $25 for A-brand parts from grey market, or less than $20 for B-brand parts.
The cheapest 10.1'' 1600p IPS screen I can find, Sharp LQ101R1SX03, sells $20 at Taobao.
So do the math, with all cheapest passive parts, PMIC and battery, the unit can be built for less than $80 of BOM.
 

Offline josem

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2017, 08:04:58 am »
I did do the math (even with scraped from the bottom of the barrel prices you listed) and you missed several others than just passives i.e. 10.1" touch screen+ controller, cameras, 802.11a/b/g/n wifi controller...he even promised USB-C.

That's just parts, no PCB, assembly, packaging, certification and shipping (he even offered free world shipping at the $99 price!).
- and he better get everything right first time!

Sorry but while you may be able to make a profit on simple stuff with a 90% BOM cost I really doubt that's true for manufacturing tablets to be shipped worldwide.

Also if that was possible why can't I see any other $99 4GB RAM 1600p display MT8173 powered tablets for sale?
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2017, 08:22:37 am »
Also if that was possible why can't I see any other $99 4GB RAM 1600p display MT8173 powered tablets for sale?

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.146.ukKIYZ&id=546423179201&ns=1&abbucket=20#detail

MT8173, 2560*1600 IPS, 32G flash, RAM unknown, likely 2G, $138. This comes from the cheapest big brand in China, Onda, but after all it is a 10-year-old brand with reasonable quality control.
If made by a no-name brand with thinnest possible profit margin, I don't think shoving $40 is that hard if they skimp on battery, enclosure and not to pay any Android OS related patents.
 

Offline josem

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2017, 09:39:33 am »
Haha well I wouldn't know how to run a business undercutting one of the cheapest Chinese brands by 30% - and I don't think this guy knows either.

Just the Google Ads and Facebook advertising he's been running intensively have probably chopped another $10 from each tablet. Not to mention the cut from BackerClub and other shady marketing schemes he's running.
 
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2017, 03:21:17 am »
Also if that was possible why can't I see any other $99 4GB RAM 1600p display MT8173 powered tablets for sale?

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.146.ukKIYZ&id=546423179201&ns=1&abbucket=20#detail

MT8173, 2560*1600 IPS, 32G flash, RAM unknown, likely 2G, $138. This comes from the cheapest big brand in China, Onda, but after all it is a 10-year-old brand with reasonable quality control.
If made by a no-name brand with thinnest possible profit margin, I don't think shoving $40 is that hard if they skimp on battery, enclosure and not to pay any Android OS related patents.

If the cheapest, big brand in China can only do it for $138, how on earth is some unknown guy going to do it for $99 considering that Kickstarter and credit card processing fees are going to eat up 10%.  Someone mentioned the ads he's running... I'll wager he's not running those himself.  There are lots of shady KS promotion companies that will take a 20-40% cut of what you raise and will front the cost of running huge quantities of ads. 

Even if the guy was running the ads himself and managing everything himself, he's going to net less than $85 per person for which he will need to deliver the unit to them.  If the biggest cheapest Chinese company can only do it for $138, there's no way he is going to be able to cut 40% off their price, especially considering shipping.  No way in hell.

It will either be way, way short on specs, or it won't ever happen.

Seems like this is one of those "people who have a lot more money than brain cells" type of projects that is heading for a juicy explosion  in the not too distant future. 
It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 
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Offline josem

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2017, 08:54:20 pm »
Some backers reported the project and all got this canned reply

"Thank you for contacting us about the Superscreen project. Kickstarter’s Integrity Team is responsible for enforcing our rules about projects. A core part of the team’s work is reviewing all of the reports about projects that we receive from our community and asking creators to address those issues. In the case of the Superscreen project, the team reviewed reports about the use of off-the-shelf hardware for the prototype, the initial absence of an iOS demo, and issues with latency. The team also considered the creator's comments, updates, and videos responding to these concerns.

In its current state, the project complies with our rules regarding hardware prototypes, as well as our general project guidelines. But it’s important to note that while we require demonstrations of core functionality, Kickstarter doesn’t evaluate claims made by creators or assess projects for their viability — it’s up to backers to decide what's worth funding. We always encourage backers to do their own research before pledging. And we thank the backers who have contacted us about this project. Reports from our community are crucial to the work of the Integrity Team and to the health of our system."

Basically Kickstarter is useless. I look forward to watching the great progress on this $2.6 million project  :popcorn:

On a more serious I'll be weary of backing anything else on Kickstarter, if you're planning to use it I urge you to reconsider.

For example if you opt for self crowdfunding you can avoid the Kickstarter fees which leaves more to promoting your project.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 08:57:10 pm by josem »
 

Offline rollatorwieltje

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2017, 09:02:48 pm »
The stuff in the video is just a Samsung S3 tablet and  probably using something like Reflector. Essentially it's just remote desktop. It certainly won't be lag free, you can even see it lagging in the video at 2:07...

The whole concept is retarded anyway, what's the point of making a tablet and then limiting it by only supporting a remote desktop app?  :-//
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2017, 02:39:58 pm »
Straying away from the original point for a moment,


[...] even my grandma said ...

"Wireless transmission will never beat wire, when it comes to latency ..."

Enough said.

I'm afraid your grandma may be misinformed. Please allow the Department of Pedantry to elucidate.

Radio (wireless) signals travel at the speed of light (well, fractionally less than that in air). But cables, be they optical or metallic, have a much lower speed. The rule of thumb is that optical fibers transmit light at 2/3 the speed of light in a vacuum [1], and electrical cables are similarly slower, ranging from about 60% to 99% of the speed of light in a vacuum [2], typically 66%-80%.

It is not unreasonable to assume that the wireless, optical or cable drive and receive circuits have similar latency, assuming they are required to work over a reasonable distance (km rather than cm). According to [3],

"Let's take London-Frankfurt as a real-world example. As the raven flies, the two cities are 396 miles apart. A radio signal travelling through air at just under the speed of light (299,700km per second) would cover that distance in 2.126 milliseconds. Through a glass or plastic fibre, where light has to bounce along the refractive index rather than travel in a straight line, the speed of light is reduced to around 200,000km/s, resulting in a theoretical minimum latency of 3.186 milliseconds."

The article goes on to explain that a practical microwave link between London and Frankfurt has a latency of about 4.2ms whereas the average cable latency is "closer to 17ms".

I'm not suggesting that wireless is always faster than wire/optical, but grandma's statement isn't always true either.

Further reading:
[1] http://www.m2optics.com/blog/bid/70587/Calculating-Optical-Fiber-Latency
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velocity_factor
[3] https://arstechnica.co.uk/information-technology/2016/11/private-microwave-networks-financial-hft/

« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 05:51:43 am by Ultrapurple »
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Offline stmdude

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2017, 04:51:15 pm »
Haha. This is right up my (old) alley!

I actually did honest-to-god research on the feasibility of a concept like this while being employed as R&D engineer at one of the top-5 cellphone ODMs.

The most important factor in a concept like this is lag. I.e, the time from when you click a button, to when you see something change on the screen. Without any screen-mirroring, you're talking about <16.6ms of lag (i.e, the next frame will show the change on a 60Hz screen).

First off, there's _no_ existing standard (AirPlay, DLNA, MiraCast, IWD) that can come close to a latency like that.
However, if you do a proprietary protocol (yey, just what the world needs, another protocol) over WiFi, you can get closer. In fact, you can theoretically get down to 4/60th of a second (3 frames lookahead for H.264 compression, and 1 frame for decompression). Transmission-times are negligible if you're not using a connection-oriented protocol like TCP as the L4 protocol. (No, really, the amount of data is so small, that it goes really quick).

Ok, 4/60th is longer than 1/60th, but lets say it's okay enough..

This still won't work very well..  How come?  Well, the way you would do this is to have the video-encoder "scrape" the framebuffer and encode that. Seems perfectly reasonable, doesn't it?  And it'll even work for your homescreen, facebook app, web-browser, etc.
What it _won't_ work on though, is probably the main use-case for a device like this. This use-case would be _video watching_.

DRMed content doesn't end up in the framebuffer at all (on a reasonable platform at least), so the video-encoder would be encoding a giant black screen instead.

Now, you might be saying.. "But hey, supposed expert. You're wrong. This works with AirPlay, MiraCast, etc". And I'd be inclined to agree with you. Those are _system_ integrations with signed binaries, and legal contracts regulating them. I could (and did) modify the system so that I also had access to the protected buffer where the video ends up. However, this is _way_ outside the realm of possibility for a user-installable application, even no matter how hard you've rooted your phone.

So, basically.. With _a lot_ of technical know-how about video-encoding and how to send data over wifi with low latency, they might end up with a product that works for most things, except DRMed video. But, I don't see it happening anyways. The technical know-how needed to do this is massive, and obtaining some of it more or less requires you to have access to NDAd documentation from the platform vendor (how do you get the video-encoder to encode the framebuffer directly, without having to double-buffer and getting a 1/60th of a second penalty for it?), so the chance of some young entrepreneur pulling it off is minimal at best.
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2017, 06:30:16 pm »
Actually sounds like a feasible and quite useful idea.  Bandwidth wouldn't be an issue since it would presumably use peer WiFi, so no cellphone data costs.

Although, 2.5M sounds like crazy money to develop something like that.  Basically just VNC, surely? Which is free software. Together with an off-the-shelf tablet, nothing special needed.

I'm wondering if it just mirrors the phone screen or if it gets the identical content again, but in a resolution to suit the tablet. Thing is, most phones are only 800x400 and that's gonna be very blocky on a higher res screen.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 06:33:38 pm by IanMacdonald »
 

Online Kean

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Re: Superscreen
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2017, 01:50:40 am »
Pretty sure from some of the description given that the app doesn't just mirror the screen. Instead it detects and rewrites certain UI elements, thus for a video it will be accessing the video stream directly, not mirroring it.  This more than likely means that video content will only work in the Superscreen app web browser, not in an arbitrary streaming app that could only use mirroring.
 
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