Introducing OpenPhoenux Neo900

openphoenux-logoThe latest device in the OpenPhoenux open hardware familiy is the Neo900, the first true successor to the Nokia N900. The Neo900 is a joint project of the Openmoko veteran Jörg Reisenweber and the creators of the GTA04/Letux2804 open hardware smartphone at Golden Delicious Computers. Furthermore, it is supported by the N900 Maemo5/Fremantle community, the Openmoko community and the OpenPhoenux community, who are working together to get closer to their common goal of providing an open hardware smartphone, which is able to run 100% free and open source software, while being independent of any big hardware manufacturer.

OpenPhoenux Neo900
OpenPhoenux Neo900

With the big ecosystem of free and open Maemo5/Fermantle applications, the hacker friendly N900, which provides an excelent hardware keyboard, the variety of free operating systems of the Openmoko community (SHR, QtMoko, Replicant, …) and the experience in designing and producing open hardware devices of the OpenPhoenux community (e.g. GTA04), they want to bring the best of all worlds together in one single device, the Neo900.

The Neo900 is meant to be an upgraded N900, with a newly designed and more powerfull motherboard, which is based upon the existing and tested OpenPhoenux GTA04 design. Together with the nice housing of the N900 (e.g. slider, hardware keyboard, big screen, …), this is trying to get “the hackers most beloved device”. In the same spirit of the OpenPhoenux community, which created unique cases for their GTA04 devices out of aluminium, wood or 3D printing, there is also an effort to build an aluminium housing for the N900, which might lead to personalized and self-produced cases for the Neo900 in the future and thus the independence of spare parts of N900 smartphones.

n900-cover1 n900-cover2

Due to the fact that the Neo900’s new motherboard is very similar to the GTA04, it is possible to reuse most of the low level software stack like development tools, the Bootloader and the Linux Kernel from the GTA04 project, with just minor modifications applied. This will speed up the software development process of this new open hardware platform a lot!

To fund the development and prototyping of this new open hardware device, which is made in Germany, a crowdfunding campain has been started a few days ago, in order to collect 25.000€ (which is by now already halfway reached!). Depending on the outcome of this fundraising the project might be able to provide better hardware specs than the following minimum keyfeature set:

  • TI DM3730 CPU (OMAP3 ARM Cortex A8) with 1+ GHz
  • 1GB RAM, 512MB NAND flash, 32+ GB eMMC, Micro-SD-Reader
  • 3.75G module for UMTS/CDMA; 4G (LTE) optional
  • USB 2.0 OTG High Speed
  • GPS+GLONASS, WLAN, Bluetooth
  • Accelerometer, barometric Altimeter, Magnetometer, Gyroscope
  • VGA (front) + 5MP (rear) camera

DSC01773 DSC01774

If you want to see the N900 to live on, help the independet open hardware community to succeed, or are looking for a new, hacker friendly smartphone, you should consider to support the fundraising with a donation. If you donate 100€ or more, your donation will also serve as a rebate for a finished device, once they are ready.

[Update 2013-11-04] The goal of 25.000€ is now reached, less than a week after the fundraiser started! Thanks to everybody who donated and spread the word and thus helped to make that happen. If you want to qualify for the rebate on the finished device, it is still possible to donate.

Let the OpenPhoenux fly on!


Determining Interaction Geometry with Ultrasound Sensors

Just recently I finalized my Bachelor’s Thesis in Computer Science at the Technical University of Munich. The thesis is licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported license and is now available for download.

In this thesis I present an ultrasound tracking system, which works infrastructure less and is based on mobile phones. I present the software and hardware, which is needed for this system to work. Then I describe the experiment I conducted to collect data of the system’s performance. Afterwards, this data gets evaluated in a way that it is compared to a high precision reference data set, which was already used to determine interaction geometry. Next, I discuss the system’s and experiment’s limitations and suggest some concrete improvements. Finally I conclude on the possibilities to determine interaction geometry, using the data my ultrasonic tracking system is able to collect and propose some future work in this area.



The corresponding software is licensed under the MIT license and is available for download as well: software.tar.bz2

Feel free to study, improve and build upon my work as desired! Feedback is welcome.

Categories Me

OpenPhoenux LinuxTag 2013 Impressions

The LinuxTag 2013 is over, and I want to share some brief impressions I got during our stay in Berlin.

The LinuxTag is a nice and well organized FOSS exhibition in Germany, attracting more than 10.000 visitors during 4 days.

We gave a talk about the OpenPhoenux project at the 2nd evening and had about 60 listeners. Some of them got very interested and followed us to the booth afterwards. For everyone who couldn’t participate, the slides are available online: Slides.pdf

We shared a booth with some other “Linux & Embedded” projects, namely: OpenEmbedded, Ethernut, Nut/OS, Oswald/Metawatch. Our Booth was professionally looking and I think we got quite some people interested in the project. Basically we had a constant flow of people at the booth during our 3 days stay and the overall feedback was rather positive!

OpenPhoenux LinuxTag 2013 (1) OpenPhoenux LinuxTag 2013 (2) OpenPhoenux LinuxTag 2013 (3)

We got interviewed by the “GNU funzt!” team, as well. The (german) video is now available on Youtube (OpenPhoenux interview is starting at 5:00):

All in all it was a very nice stay in Berlin. I especially enjoyed meeting and chatting with guys who already owned a GTA04. It looks like the community is growing again!


OpenPhoenux FOSDEM Impressions

CIMG0210FOSDEM 2013 is over and I had a really nice time again at Brussels, together with the OpenPhoenux/GTA04 team. It was especially nice to meet some people from our community in person and discuss interesting ideas with them.

Furthermore, it was great to meet people, who didn’t know about neither OpenPhoenux nor Openmoko, having cool ideas, which the OpenPhoenux GTA04 open hardware plattform would enable them to do.

We even got interviewed by Sam – a moviemaker, ceating a movie called “Year of Open Source” about living in a free software/hardware world for (at least) one year.

As stated, I had a nice time and I’m looking forward to meeting with the OpenPhoenux community soon again. Now, as a picture says more than 1000 words, here are some photographs from our FOSDEM booth:

Update: Now there is a video available as well.

OpenPhoenux at FOSDEM 2013

The team of OpenPhoenux presented the development process of the open hardware and free software powered mobile plattform “GTA04” at FOSDEM 2011 and 2012, including working prototypes and preview-boards for developers.

OpenPhoenux-3704Now, that the OpenPhoenux has taken off to reach a broader audience, we’ll show off all the open hardware (prototypes of new products and finished devices) at FOSDEM 2013. We hope you’re already eager to have your hands on the latest and greatest open mobile handhelds, which will be presented at our booth!

All of those are based on the GTA04 open mobile plattform, whose latest revision GTA04-A5 is ready and waiting for pre-orders to finance the next production run.

In addition, there are still a few complete GTA04 (revision A4) smartphone units on stock at the Openmoko reseller Contact him for further information.

Those are all great hardware projects for Linux/FOSS enthusiasts and freedom lovers! But the World of OpenPhoenux is not limited to hardware gadgets, but is connected to several other open mobile and communication projects, as well:


So, if you’re visiting FOSDEM this year and are interested in open mobile communications it is a must to drop by the “World of OpenPhoenux”-booth (No. 3) in building AW, right next to Jolla/Sailfish, Hackable Devices/MakerBot, Enlightenment and more!

We’re looking forward to meet you there, answer your questions and demo the devices to you!


Bad Behavior has blocked 345 access attempts in the last 7 days.