Redfly terminal, priced right for hacking?

Computers & Mobile Craft & Design
Redfly terminal, priced right for hacking?

CellularCoverageButNoWifi.jpg

JC sent in a link in response to 24 hours of Android. He was suggesting an adapter for the headphone, essentially usb to 1/8″ stereo. The $6 purchase price indicates that there must be a simple way of doing it. While checking out some of the other accessories for HTC phones, I came upon this neat little terminal. Redfly is apparently a keyboard and screen to go with your smartphone. With no processor, memory or much else, it is likely pretty light. It looks to be about the size of the micro laptops or notebook computers running processors similar to the OLPC. It rides off the USB connection from the phone.

So what are the possibilities in these little computers and terminals when combined with the new, powerful phones on the market? Could I get my MSI Wind to be a terminal for my G1? That would have been handy last night, where I had ok coverage on the 2G network, but no wifi. Out here in the cellular fringe, 3G is not an option. The small screen and keyboard of the Wind would have been easier to use than the tiny screen and keyboard of the phone. Since both devices have USB ports, then it should be possible to program them to talk to each other.

If you have been poking around with this idea, then post up in the comments!

12 thoughts on “Redfly terminal, priced right for hacking?

  1. notatoad says:

    $399 regular price for this? are they crazy? that’s more than what i paid for my aspire one with an atom, a gig of memory and a full size hard drive. even $199 is pretty steep.

  2. Chris Connors says:

    $200 seems ok, $400 is definitely too much. For such a small platform, it does bring up some possibilities. Cheaper would encourage more innovation. Eventually, these may turn up second hand for way less. They look like fun to mess with.

    For the size, they may be equivalent to a notebook pc, so how can we get our notebooks to act as terminals when the phone has better reception?

  3. Eric Carroll says:

    Ive been using a program for years called My Mobiler http://www.mtux.com/ and it works great, but only for windows mobile. There are a number of other programs that have similar functionality, but I like free. Ive seen that device floating around on the internet since its debut at one of the trade shows and I cannot fathom why they are charging so much for something that does so little! BTW I doubt it will work with the G1 as it was also designed for WM.

  4. jake t says:

    The point of the device is to keep you from having to maintain records on two separate devices. Keep everything on the phone and only use the Refly when you need it.

    It’s different from MyMobileR in that MMR duplicates the screen on the computer, but the Redfly is giving the Windows apps a bigger screen to work with. This is probably their biggest challenge, getting all those apps to be screen size aware.

    Celio’s CTO has a good background with software KVM (KVM over IP). So the Redfly is probably nothing more than an embedded KVM over IP client, where IP in this case is USB or Bluetooth.

    It would seem to me that all it would take is to write a compatible KVM driver and any linux device would work. That is unless there is some remote API support built into Windows Mobile, aka the client/server aspect of X.

    It would be cool to be able to get this thing to work with my Openmoko Freerunner.

  5. tom61 says:

    Not a very forthright claim, it does have a CPU and OS of it’s own, you just can use only whatever terminal software comes with it.

    If you’re just searching for sharing the internet connection Chris, search for ‘tethering G1’. If want to see the screen, you could probably install VNC, though it likely wouldn’t increase the resolution to fit without doing more on the G1 side.

    “This is probably their biggest challenge, getting all those apps to be screen size aware.” Actually, most built-in Microsoft apps are screen size aware. My best guess as to why, was to ease the transition from the H/PC platform (640×240) to Palm-Sized/Pocket PC (320×240). Which was a boon for Pocket PCs with VGA out, devices with higher res screens, and third-party virtual resolution software. To do the same as the Redfly with a WM phone on a netbook, you’d probably be able to stack a VNC server on the device with NYDIOT virtual display software to get it going 800×480 or higher.

  6. Chris Connors says:

    Thanks Tom.
    Here are a few links I found on tethering the G1:
    LINUX-UBUTU/G1 Tethering Guide – http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=409949084&blogID=446443940

    This one show it for mac – http://www.engadget.com/2008/11/04/first-t-mobile-g1-tethering-solution-comes-to-light/

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