Pyra as a Phone


Yuji Sakai

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aaah okay understood, that won't be healthy, thanks for a tip.
will there would be later any molds or current ones fit all versions and colours?
I would fear to mod case by myself so thanks, nope.

it seems I just have to live without camera :p
 

Bernd

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There will be only one set of molds for all colors.
And there will be only few colors.
(You have to buy ca. 1000 sets of casing if you want a fancy, non standard color)

Modding a case is not that difficould.
A hot air gun, a dremel and a litte bit of skill will work fine.
3D printed case-parts are a solution too.
 

Yuji Sakai

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okay but would it fit internals? there have to be part of back panel without socket, and none of boards could be near the place where camera would be inserted, also it has to be connected to on-board interface (would some board have pin-usb? pin-usb is most convenient for custom internal peripherals). also if it would be very custom there would be problems with software (or is it enough to port i.e. camera apps from maemo or Ubuntu?)
 

benoitb

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okay but would it fit internals? there have to be part of back panel without socket, and none of boards could be near the place where camera would be inserted, also it has to be connected to on-board interface (would some board have pin-usb? pin-usb is most convenient for custom internal peripherals). also if it would be very custom there would be problems with software (or is it enough to port i.e. camera apps from maemo or Ubuntu?)
I suggest you read and then comment on this thread: https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/threads/perfect-camera-for-pyra-pandora.74742/
 

Bernd

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okay but would it fit internals?
Thats why i wrote that you have to mod the case.

there have to be part of back panel without socket, and none of boards could be near the place where camera would be inserted, also it has to be connected to on-board interface (would some board have pin-usb? pin-usb is most convenient for custom internal peripherals).
For an internal camera you have to sacrifice one of the full sise USB-ports.
For two cameras, you have to fit in a USB-hub too.
If you use a proper shielded cable, longer distances are no problem.

also if it would be very custom there would be problems with software (or is it enough to port i.e. camera apps from maemo or Ubuntu?)
The Pyra runs default linux.
 

Yuji Sakai

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by saying custom, I mean hardware not software... many apps for cameras are hardware specific, but I guess the more portable ones would work once there is proper driver for camera.
are the back USB ports soldered? there probably could be inserted the USB-hub between PCB and port :p but it would be hard... Are there any superflous ports inside? or design is minimalistic?
 

driftke70

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sorry if I am thread digging, this is my first post on the forum.
I was awaiting the pyra with high hopes of it becoming a all in one unit for me every day to carry for work and leisure.
A mobile device that can store all my PVC formulas (i am an industrial chemist) deal with customers via email calls and sms (i use a lot of picture messaging
when customers send me pictures of their machinery and their problems (from other suppliers of course!)

There are several things I do not understand.
Why is everyone discussing a camera as this massive marble sized object when mobile phones for over a decade have had cameras that are almost flat.
There is no doubt that we should be able to source a mobile phone sourced camera especially for 1500 units.
Something such as this
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Mobile-P...804219?hash=item2ef6f5df3b:g:B88AAOSwB09YH9ob
could easily fit into the front, the side or the back, if it was in the back you could easily program one of the should buttons to operate as the shutter when the lid is open or closed.

The other thing is, I cannot see why we could not have a seperate mic and speaker for calls in the base of the unit, the components are so small and cheap and there seems to be plenty
of room around the battery.

Everything about the design is perfect otherwise and I am still looking forward to the device.
I am not skilled enough with electronics to wire these components myself and program them.
 
S

sulu

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The Pyra was never designed to be a phone. It just happens to have the basic equipment (modem, mic, speaker) to act as one. And some crazy people actually plan to make use of that (me included - I wouldn't be interested in it without that aspect).
A built-in camera is just another variant of that "phone aspect", because a lot of people seem to expect one in their phones these days (not including me, unless it beats the crap out of a high-end compact camera ;) ).
So it seems I just got lucky with how the Pyra turned out. And unfortunately you didn't.

In the end the Pyra is the definition of "compromise" realized in hardware.
I want a phone with a hardware keyboard and the computing power of my desktop PC that fits in my pocket and runs Debian for a week on battery. I know I can't have that in real life, but the Pyra is the next best thing.
On the other hand I could totally dispense with the gaming controls and anything that revolves around graphics acceleration. But I realize that this is exactly what other people want, so if we both make compromises and team up, we might both get the device we wanted (sort of), that none of us might have been able to fund on our own.
 

Letalis Sonus

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Something such as this
...doesn't even include an objective lens, which takes the most space. Mobile phone manufacturers achieve such a compact form factor by reducing the circuit board to a minimum size, squeezing as much functionality into the SoC itself and all-in-one ICs as possible - leaving the whole thickness of the device available for peripherals and often sacrificing quality everywhere.

The community has decided to use a classic LCD screen with dedicated backlight instead of a slimmer OLED screen, the community has decided to not ditch the full keyboard whose PCB covers almost the whole base of the device, the community has decided it wants audiophile sound quality with proper dedicated components instead of using crappy integrated all-in-one circuits, the community has decided to use full-sized SD card slots instead of tiny micro SD card slots - and last but not least, we have a dedicated replaceable PCB providing the device's core components, which has to fit between the battery and main PCB. The case really is already stuffed, it wasn't even possible to add a dedicated S-ATA port to the back.

If there really was space for a proper camera, it would be a really inconvenient place. There are already several lengthy discussions about this topic, as well as several sound reasons not to include one by default.

The other thing is, I cannot see why we could not have a seperate mic and speaker for calls in the base of the unit
They are already included?
 

Klumpen

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I got the impression that the mobile chip was rather meant as a means for mobile internet and is just opening up other possibilites as a side effect.
 

Letalis Sonus

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I believe driftke was talking about an additional mic/speaker on the bottom of the case or in some other location, that would be usable without opening the lid.
That still wouldn't change the fact that it's generally awkward to talk to a brick, though. There's a 3 line audio jack for headsets as well as bluetooth, just use it.
 
S

sulu

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Talking to a folded brick would be less awkward than talking to an unfolded one. And depending on your preferences it might also be considered less awkward than using a headset.
I can see the rationale behind the idea.
 

driftke70

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you guys seem to just be moving the points onto a field where you have already had these arguments or have already deduced counter points in a different context.

I would have been more than happy to have had the device the width of a camera unit wider.
I believe the pyra is 139mm long, my sg7e is 156mm long with the case on it.
I think form factor of how it looks when it is held up to your head is the least significant issue one could point out.
So long as you can just tap a shoulder button to answer and lift it to your head without opening I dont think it really matters.
I use to have a nokia ngage and my friends said it looked like i was talking into a taco but alas I couldn't have cared less because it was
easy to use.

I think the way i saw this device was a way to give a big old middle finger to the phone companies and get a device i can use for years and years
to come and keep replacing components if and when they fail etc as opposed to paying XYZ per month and waiting to see how samsung wants to justify
my money for another 2 years. I hate virtually everything about modern phones but have little choice.

One huge massive win for the pyra is that if you use another camera (i have a pentax q that I keep in my car and a sony a6000 for quality nature/ auto photography etc)
is that you can shoot and simply just bang the sd card straight into the device.

But part of what makes my daily interactions so fun every day is sending my fiance random dogs i see or people doing stupid things in public or snapping a photo of a sweet bird or
something on the go. In australia we dont live on trains, we dont travel with bags all the time. I see EDC threads and just think people are insane for having more than a wallet/keys/phone.
Ill probably still get a pyra but it will be a tough spend, whereas if i knew 100% i could use it as a phone and camera, even if the messaging and dialing was tedious, I would have caught a plane
and hunted down ED and thrown my wallet at him.

Dont get me wrong, i dont want people to think im saying the device is stupid or that ED has done anything less than an absolutely amazing job and that I love absolutely everything
that the device is.

Just saying it would be hard to justify as an every day device when i have to pair it with another device to make calls or a third device to take photos.
 

Letalis Sonus

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I use to have a nokia ngage and my friends said it looked like i was talking into a taco but alas I couldn't have cared less because it was
easy to use.
For the record: my current mobile phone is a Nokia 6110 (not the Navigator one, I'm talking last millennia) - I know "bricks".

The Pyra has a specific audience, and quite a lot of them have privacy concerns, are not allowed to have devices with cams at work or simply don't need one - and a huge part thinks the device is already way too big as it currently is.
 

Binky

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The critical difficulty with a camera is it's thickness. If you take apart a typical modern smartphone, you'll find that the lens assembly takes up the full thickness of the device, and often sticks out slightly. (use your favourite search engine to look for images of "smartphone camera bulge")
samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-plus-9695.0.0.jpg

A lens assembly big enough to give tolerable image quality would be thicker than the Pyra's lid - and the Pyra is already a pretty thick device.
There might just be room for one in the base, but where? The sides are covered by your hands, the front and back are covered with connectors (apart from where the 3G modem sits) and the back has a battery in the way.
The only place where it might have been possible to put a camera would be in the keyboard area, facing up - which would only be good for photographing your own nostrils.
Cameras are tricky things to design, because of the strict lens geometry requirements, and the high-bandwidth data connections they need.

Aside from those technical reasons, there are also privacy/security concerns, and people, (me included) who don't really see the point of a camera which can never be more than mediocre.

This isn't to say that cameras are bad, or that the Pyra is better without one (although some people would say that). My point is that the idea of putting a camera in the Pyra was considered, and rejected for sensible reasons.

If consumer electronics design was a pick&mix, there'd be a lot of engineers out of a job, and the latest releases from apple et al would be more impressive than simply swapping one connector for another and changing the corner radius.
 

Akko

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What might be more useful (and would go well with the upgradeable board concept) would be a sort of Add-on camera. You'd have enough space for a good lens, with USB and Linux it wouldn't be a big software issue, people that don't care about it could just not get it... I remember my first phone with a color screen (a Sony Ericsson T68i) had something like that as an accessory.

Of course, it would not be quite as handy as an integrated camera, but it might be a useful solution.
 

Grench

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What might be more useful (and would go well with the upgradeable board concept) would be a sort of Add-on camera. You'd have enough space for a good lens, with USB and Linux it wouldn't be a big software issue, people that don't care about it could just not get it... I remember my first phone with a color screen (a Sony Ericsson T68i) had something like that as an accessory.

Of course, it would not be quite as handy as an integrated camera, but it might be a useful solution.

That already exists. Pretty much any USB webcam or even many modern digital cameras with a USB connector should work.

If you NEED it stuck to the back of the case lid, Velcro is your friend.
 

Akko

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Well obviously any USB webcam should work, but I was talking about something with a more suitable form factor. A big webcam with a long cable would probably not be too useful on a small portable device.
I don't know if what I had in mind exists: A camera directly attached to a USB plug, perpendicular to it. I think that would be much more useful as an accessory for the Pyra.
 
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