Get WiPhone! The WiPhone project is an open source mobile phone which makes HD voice calls, for free, over WiFi. It's hackable, modular, cheap, and open. WiPhone gives you the simple calling…
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HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19241484
Posted by catherd (karma: 228)
Post stats: Points: 116 - Comments: 83 - 2019-02-24T23:54:06Z
\#HackerNews #arduino #phone #professionally-packaged #wiphone
The WiPhone project is an open source mobile phone which makes HD voice calls, for free, over WiFi. Itʼs hackable, modular, cheap, and open.
WiPhone gives you the simple calling experience of a minimal phone, and the adaptability of the Arduino platform.
Crowdfunding begins March 1st!
HD Voice, No Service Contracts
WiPhone is different. WiPhone uses the existing WiFi around you to make HD Voice calls. For free. Buy it once and itʼs yours.
Works on most broadband WiFi networks (including most home WiFi connections). No service contract required, and you can even upgrade the open source firmware or expand the hardware to do things it wasnʼt originally intended for.
Modern smartphones are more and more a tool we donʼt own, but instead one weʼre only allowed to carry around. One that serves the interests of various tracking networks, corporate boards, and government organizations. You donʼt own it, it owns you. It tracks you, serves you ads, and sucks away your time with mindless dopamine hits. We want a phone thatʼs back in our control, optimized for our convenience.
We donʼt like the system todayʼs service providers, tracking networks, and govenrment oversight have set up, and the WiPhone is a phone that puts us back in control. Maybe even fights back a little. Open, simple, firmware allows us to repurpose the phone into whatever application we want. Hardware with accessible I/O and an easy disassembly process enable creation of connected hardware based on your needs.
Hackers and Makers Kids Elderly Money Privacy Travelers Backup Emergency
\* WiPhone is a hackerʼs Swiss Army knife.
\* Easily add functionality and use it in projects as a super-charged, well packaged Arduino development system.
\* Load your own firmware to implement different calling protocols or completely different use-cases.
The firmware is unlocked and freely modifiable.
\* Hardware expansion through a replaceable back plate.
\* Send with your child to school/daycare/etc.
\* Let them keep in contact without the distractions of a smartphone.
\* Never worry about a service plan or remembering to pay the bill.
\* Leave at your elderly parentʼs house.
\* No additional bill to remember.
\* Uses the traditional touchpad they are used to for making calls.
\* Simple and familiar user interface.
\* Youʼre poor (sorry!), or cheap (congratulations?).
\* A WiPhone can let you keep in touch without ongoing financial commitments.
\* If you need to call someone who doesnʼt have a VoIP app, low cost services are available to connect you to the traditional phone system.
If you need to call someone who only uses a regular phone number (if they donʼt have a VoIP app). Typical plans cost about $25/year (US or European providers).
\* Works in different countries without needing a new SIM card or service plan.
\* International calls are same as local ones. No restrictions based on borders or calling plans.
\* Don’t need to deal with another country’s radio frequency compatibility.
\* Keep the same phone number/VoIP address all over the world.
\* Avoid being tracked by cell tower triangulation or IMSI catching (Stingray).
\* No ad networks, telemetry, or tracking cookies.
\* Easily disable automatic firmware updates, or completely remove the stock firmware and use your own.
\* Keep it in your car or bag in case your regular phone has problems, or gets lost or stolen.
\* Use it when you donʼt want to take your expensive smartphone somewhere it might get damaged.
\* Don’t need to maintain a service plan for the backup.
\* If youʼve ditched your landline, with a WiPhone and residential VoIP service you can still have e-911 to connect with local emergency services.
WiPhone is built for hacking, not for some big corporationʼs bottom line. Complete disassembly in less than a minute, using only 4 screws. The operating system firmware is open, and simple enough to be understood entirely by one motivated person.
Not only is WiPhone capable of completely free calling, itʼs also an open source, self-contained Arduino development platform. It comes in a nice package, with a battery, power supply, and on/off circuitry, unlike most other dev boards. Once your project is done, instead of an eyesore of tangled wires and stacked boards, itʼs compact and visually appealing.
Join the newsletter to be first in line once WiPhone is ready to buy.
\* FREE high capacity battery upgrade
only for early subscribers.
\* Get project updates and plans.
Join WiPhone Mailing Group
\* VoIP (WiFi) Phone
\* 2.4” screen (320 x 240)
\* 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
\* micro USB for charging, serial communication, and firmware updates
\* 3.5mm audio jack
\* Internal microSD slot
\* Size: 120mm x 50mm x 12mm
\* Weight: 80g
\* 700 mAh Battery, 8 hours talk/1 week standby time (estimated)
\* 25 buttons keypad, 4 reserved for user, all keys are user programmable
\* Espressif ESP32 based system, programmable in Arduino
\* MicroPython for user applications
\* 20 pin programmable header on back of phone
\* 4MB PSRAM
\* 16MB Flash
\* 700 mAh Battery
\* ESP32 Dual core running at 240 MHz
\* Wi-Fi b/g/n + BT/BLE Dual Mode (Bluetooth is not yet used in the software)
\* USB serial port for charging, debugging, and serial data transfer
\* Externally accessible headers for custom daughter boards, including UART, SPI, I2C, PWM, digital I/O, ADC functions
\* Size: 120mm x 50mm x 12mm
\* Weight: 80g
\* Polycarbonate case and screen
\* Silicone keypad, backlit
\* phone back can be replaced with a PCB to expand the hardware capabilities
\* Fully working VoIP phone, with calling, text messages, and contact library.
\* MicroPython for user applications
\* Wireless firmware updates
WiPhone is expandable through daughter boards. The whole back of the phone is a replaceable panel that accepts a standard 1.6mm thickness PCB, which you can use to add whatever functionality you like.
We made a WiPhone into an RC car:
And we also made the coolest way to ever to answer a phone:
The daughterboard headers have power, digital I/O, and all the common embedded busses like SPI, I2C, and UART.
If you need an always-connected phone capable of making calls from the side of the road or wherever you happen to be, WiPhone is not that phone. However, if youʼre like most of us, 80% or more of your time is spent near accessable WiFi. Or you may find it useful as a second phone. So while dropping the cellular radio does remove a big chunk of capability, itʼs also trade that brings a number of benefits:
It almost completely disables a wide variety of privacy issues related to tracking. No cookies following you around and no cell tower triangulation.
It eliminates a black box component (the baseband radio) that is closed and encumbered with IP protection, often only has documentation available by NDA, runs firmware we canʼt control, and likely requires binary blobs to interact with. Hackers donʼt have the tools or access needed to work with cellular radios at the level needed to do the sorts of things we like, but internet technologies have a long history of enabling instead of obfuscating or obstructing, so it makes a lot of sense to concentrate on WiFi.
WiPhone is a phone, and people will inevitably (shall we say, even obsessively) compare specs and price to mass market phones produced in volumes of millions of units per year. Thereʼs no way we can compete in that playing field, but dropping the cellular radio at least lets us keep costs reasonable. Cellular baseband makers like Broadcomm or Qualcomm probably arenʼt even going to be interested in interacting with us unless we move 10ʼs of thousands of units, and the types of cell modules (such as u-blocks) available to low volume products like ours cost as much as a cheap android phone. If we added one of those low volume type cell modules weʼd have to sell our basic phone for the same price as a mid-range full-featured smartphone.
Dropping the cellular radio also means dropping service plans. Which is a great feature for times when you need to stay connected, but donʼt want to or canʼt justify an ongoing service contract.
We are a small team and we want to ship something that is reliable and brings joy to use. Concentrating our efforts on a technology that plays to our strengths simplifies our design requirements. Have a look around at all the other technology projects that have done crowdfunding, got seduced by feature creep, and never delivered. Part of delivering something useful is being selective and not trying to add everything you can think of. We needed to choose between being yet another regular phone, or conecntrating on the things that can make WiPhone special, like daughterbaords and an interpreter for easily adding MicroPython apps.
Sparklepony (RGB Array)
If you donʼt see the answer to your question here, feel free to send us a message at: [email protected]
WiPhone is a unique, minimal phone. It uses WIFI to make HD voice calls, for free. This means that there is no required service contract - and it’s yours for life.
WiPhone is an open source phone, compatible with the Arduino platform: it’s hackable, modular, cheap, and open.
No. You might be able to get one into the microSD slot if you really push.
You can sign up for one of the free VoIP services. This method allows you to receive calls, and to call anyone with a VoIP app installed on their phone or computer.
If you need to call regular phone numbers you will need to sign up for a paid VoIP service. Those generally cost significantly less than residential or cellular service.
You will need to use Multi-Tap text entry using the numeric keypad.
The hardware supports it, if someone wants to write the software to enable it.
These features arenʼt currently included in the design. We are concentrating on making VoIP work well before we start adding features. But if you can design a PCB, weʼve reserved a header on the back of the phone for expansion if you want to add that capability.
Update: We have designed a LoRA daughterboard which may go into production if the response is big enough
Because they are simpler and cheaper than buying a larger touch-enabled screen. We want to make a low-cost phone thatʼs easy for people to adapt to their needs. We think physical buttons are easier for people with limited hacking skills (or simply better tings to do than configure soft buttons) to adapt to their needs.
This depends on a few things we arenʼt finished designing yet. But we are aiming for the kind of device that doensʼt need charging every day.
See the Features section for the present specs. These are subject to revision.
We wrote it. There werenʼt any open source libraries available that were suitable for small embedded applications like this one.
Probably Github. After we ship the rewards.
We could, but not at this time. Please see the previous section for reasons why.
It doesnʼt, really. We wrote it using Processing, which lets you use the Arduino IDE that most electronics hackers are familiar with. Once the code is released you can easily look through the code to see how it all works. Or load your own and use the hardware for a completely different purpose.
Yes. WiPhone will have CE, FCC, IC, and RoHS (North American and European) compliance when the first units ship. Other certifications may be done based on response.
Currently no. Backers will have input to help us choose future features, so itʼs a possibility later.
We new friends!
© WiPhone.io 2018. All Rights Reserved.
\* Press Kit
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