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Comment: Re:Focus? (Score 4, Interesting) 42

Well, as the phone (that you slot into the "front" of the contraption) already has a suite of magnetometers, gyroscopes and accelerometers, it can quickly and reasonably accurately track head movement. There's also a hold for the phone's camera to look out, so it can be used for AR purposes (and the camera can be used to augment the head-tracking above).

Of course, what I'm waiting for is for someone to add some kind of "Steam In-Home Streaming" (or something similar) support for the phone, so you can run Oculus-supporting games on your PC and have the video sent over WiFi to your phone/HMD, which would be the perfect "Killer app" for this system. And the chances are, someone (Possibly even Valve) are working on this right now. It might exacerbate the lag issues (what with WiFi latencies and encoding/decoding latencies being added to processing latency), but it would be palpably better from a "freedom of movement" standpoint (and possibly a weight standpoint) than a Rift.

Comment: Re:Hey, AmigaOS has a gift for you... (Score 1) 126

by Anaerin (#47330807) Attached to: Google Demos Modular Phone That (Almost) Actually Works

Okay, so here's a scenario for you. I've just built a nice new Ara phone. It has a computing module, a camera module, an LTE/GSM+SIM module, a 802.11a/b/g/n/ac module, 128GBs of storage, a touchscreen and a fingerprint reader.

It's the first time I've put this device together, with brand new parts out of the box. How am I meant to download the drivers? I can't use the WiFi, or the cellular modem, I don't have drivers for them yet. And I can't display any kind of configuration, because the display isn't set up either.

The "phone" has the main OS pre-loaded (I'm presuming a bare kernel on the Computing module, as that's what would decide what version of binaries and the like would be needed), so it can boot, but there's no functionality on it to mount the storage, or bring up the display, or even to start the WiFi and/or Cellular data, because there's no drivers for that yet.

The way I'm suggesting means that all the drivers are compartmentalized and available from first boot. The moment you slot a new module in it's ready to use. And while you can update the software onboard, you don't need to download software to get the system up and running. The on-module flash would also be locked into read-only mode for regular operations, and only unlocked as read/write when an update is required.

Comment: Hey, AmigaOS has a gift for you... (Score 1) 126

by Anaerin (#47329737) Attached to: Google Demos Modular Phone That (Almost) Actually Works

It's called Autoconfig. Essentially, Autoconfig does IRQ and address assignment (And is so good at it that Intel copied it for their "Plug'n'Play" system), but Autoconfig does more than that. It also initializes the firmware and loads it in. And the firmware for each device then contains the necessary libraries to (at the very least) get the hardware running. So, for example, hard-drive controllers get their drivers loaded and the hard-drive becomes available as a boot device, network cards are initialized enough that PXE booting works, graphics cards are started up and displays initialized, sound cards are initialized, etc.

So, essentially, every piece of hardware would take care of it's own drivers and NVRam config. WiFi module has WiFi drivers on it. And so on. The configuration software was not included on-device, but there's next-to-no reason why that couldn't be on-device too, as the price of flash is extremely cheap these days.

Comment: Hard enclosure? (Score 1) 86

by Anaerin (#47133023) Attached to: A Bike Taillight that Goes Beyond Mere Taillighting (Video)

Why is he proposing a hard enclosure for this? It would be a lot more practical (not to mention more convenient and lighter) to sew these into the covering flap of a messenger bag or similar (like he had), using easily-obtainable RGB LEDs on flexible PCB strips (like he was using) that are already sealed and watertight. The only difficulty would be sealing the connecting points, but that wouldn't be too much of an issue, and if you're going whole hog and making from the SMT parts up (instead of repurposing already made components) you could make a square sheet of flexible PCB for the whole thing.

Also, aren't there laws against putting flashing/strobing/colour-changing signs and lights in front of people's faces while they drive? While better visibility is good, techno-disco-light-shows distracting all and sundry on the road is bad.

Comment: Re:So many reasons not too... (Score 1) 157

by Anaerin (#46750359) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

3) More like a helicopter than an aeroplane? Nope. Airplanes are MUCH easier to fly than a helicopter; the average person cannot do this.

Perhaps they're thinking of a Gyrocopter (or Autogyro). That has the advantage of small size (No need for large fixed wings) without the complication of dealing with a collective stick system.

Personally, I was always interested in the "Land Shark" project (Archive.org link, as the original has since disappeared). The idea was to have a tadpole-style trike that, when on water, would use it's turbine-shaped rear wheel hub to propel it as it hydroplaned on the front wheel's lowered mudguards. Simple, and effective, but unfortunately it never got off the ground. A shame, really.

Comment: Re:They talk very big (Score 4, Informative) 62

Okay, here's the deal. You want a phone, so you buy a base unit (that probably has the screen). Once you've done that, you choose what CPU (Single-core? Dual-core? Quad-core? Octa-core?) you want, how much RAM (512MB? 1GB? 2GB?), how much storage (16GB? 32GB? 64GB?), what kind of camera (None, 2MP, 4MP, 16MP with telescopic zoom lens?), Location system (Cell Tower Only? A-GPS? GLONASS + GPS + Compass?), Radios (Bluetooth? Wifi (a? n?), cellular radio (None? CDMA? GSM/Edge? UMTS? LTE?), card reader, and battery you want.

Want to update at a later time? Not a problem! Swap out that tired old dual-core ARMv7 for the latest dohexa-core 64-bit ARMv11! Running out of RAM too often? Throw another 2GB in there. Find you're taking more pictures than you thought? Swap out the basic 4MP shooter for a 28MP beast! Want to do work with 3D mapping? Add a second camera!

The idea is to make phones as modular as (or even more so than) a home PC.

A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work. -- Anatol Holt

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