No announcement yet.

OT - Am I chasing a Rainbow? Cell Phone Idea

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • OT - Am I chasing a Rainbow? Cell Phone Idea

    My wife gets a 'free' phone as her contract is due for renewal.

    I have a novel idea that I want to explore this fall and become 'rich and famous'

    My thought right now is to get a whizzy Android phone and combine it with additional electronics to explore my idea.

    An example of what I am trying to do is to place some sensors on a car frame and then sit in the seat and collect real world data - vibration, sound, acceleration etc. There is no magic for the electronics to collect the data.

    Phase two is to interpret the data offline and develop a model or strategy.

    Phase three is to back to the vehicle and implement the strategy.

    To collect the data, I was thinking of using Bluetooth on the phone. There are devices for A/D that have Bluetooth interfaces. Here is an example there are many.

    My current thought is an Android phone. Free phone, freeware, programming languages, utilites, built in human interface etc.

    So my questions to you guys is, which processor chip or chip set or phone has the MOST computing capability?

  • #2
    I'm guessing the LG 2X might be a good candidate for processing power.


    • #3
      Hey, thanks for the idea! Just kidding. They already make something like that, although not for the shadetree mechanic.


      • #4
        Sorry to say it, but you are definitely chasing a rainbow. There are many possible products and ideas for vehicles, but just because you dont see it on a production vehicle doesnt mean it hasnt been tried already on a prototype. The auto industry is notoriously cheap.
        "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."


        • #5
          Thanks CountZero I'll check out the LG2

          Are there benchmarks on the processors used in phones?


          Originally posted by justanengineer
          Sorry to say it, but you are definitely chasing a rainbow. There are many possible products and ideas for vehicles, but just because you dont see it on a production vehicle doesnt mean it hasnt been tried already on a prototype. The auto industry is notoriously cheap.

          My idea is nothing to do with automotives. It is in another industry. I used the car analogy to give you an idea of what was going to happening.

          Phase one is data collection on mobile equipment.

          I have looked around and I think my idea is novel.
          Last edited by RancherBill; 04-13-2011, 04:04 PM.


          • #6
   sells an item called a ioio that allows you to interface an android phone to anything you could imagine with the use of an arduino and the android sdk.
            You should check it out.


            • #7
              The NASCAR boys have real time data aquisition on their cars when testing and I believe it is captured by a laptop computer. They then take that data and input it to another series of programs/hardware that runs their 7 post shakers. They can simulate any track on the shaker with real time data and see how the car reacts.

              Also the trucking industry uses similar equipment. When touring a NASCAR shop I was told they can capture a million miles of truck/trailer data and input it to a shaker that can literally shake a trailer chassis to death in a matter of weeks (I think they said weeks).

              Hopefully you are not trying to reinvent the wheel. Good luck in any case.


              • #8
                So what in the hell are you going to do with the info when you collect it???
                It's only ink and paper


                • #9
                  Data loggers that are battery powered and good for months for all those variables you mentioned are widely used in the shipping industry, especially for transporting sensitive equipment by shipping container. Temp, acceleration, humidity, shock and just about any other environmental variable including video is available.
                  Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                  • #10
                    Yeah, a friend told me about an experiment he did at GE at Louisville Ky. They put sensors in a railroad box car with a load of washing machines and ran it against a stop at the end of their spur line. It destroyed most of the washing machines and the sensors told them the shock was extreme.

                    The box car was accelerated to 5 mph and released and allowed to hit the stop. They had gotten a lot of returns for damaged units from the railroad so that's why they did the test.

                    They did this a long time ago, I think in the 1970's. He said all the engineers, of which he was one, knew what would be the outcome. I always enjoyed listening to his tales of what they tried at GE in the engineering department.
                    It's only ink and paper


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rancherbill
                      So my questions to you guys is, which processor chip or chip set or phone has the MOST computing capability?
                      Is "computing capability" (which I read as MIPS/CPU horsepower) really the most important quality? Usually embedded developers are more concerned with economy of $ and/or power consumption.

                      There are a LOT of platforms for embedded/mobile development out there these days, many of them free & open-source with decent libraries, communities, etc.

                      I think the key question is whether the application demands something that is more like a data acquisition platform, or more of a GUI. If you want to do complex data visualization, a laptop is still probably the easiest way. iPads and tablets are very promising, but it's very hard to find good developers for graphics-intensive stuff, and the devices aren't yet nearly as common as PCs. If you're doing data-gathering, Bluetooth is a pretty top-heavy stack compared to Zigbee or other more lightweight platforms, even if it is built into the phone.


                      • #12

                        I can't answer your question about what phone is best, but I can tell you a little about android phones. I got one about a year ago.

                        There are so many apps for androids that it pretty much seems like if there is something you want to do, there is probably an app for it. It will also likely be FREE.

                        A few examples of apps that I have on my phone.

                        Google sky - start the app and put your phone up toward the sky at night and it will identify the stars, constallations, everything. If you point the phone at the ground, it will show you the stars that you would see if the earth were not in the way.

                        Bubble level - lay the phone on anything and it will show a bubble on the screen to level in all directions, as well as show you the degrees in both directions.

                        Blackjack - nuff said.

                        Mobile banking - I can now do any banking by phone as though the phone were a laptop or tower computer.

                        Calculators - I have a couple; one is a simple one and the other is a full function scientific calculator. I can do trig on the run now. Just remember the old indian soh cah toa.

                        Navigation - free app that pretty much eliminates the $200+ garmin we bought a year ago. Can run off gps or cell towers.

                        Weather - Dopplar loops, forecasts, you name it anywere in the world.

                        I have been looking for a good free app for a light meter to test some new light fixtures that I am changing my big shop over to. Going from T12 HO fixtures to T8 with electronic ballasts and 4 48" tubes. Tested out the T12 fixtures with my kill a watt meter; 272 watts. New fixtures are 100 watts each. Now I want to do an accurate test to compare them.The 5 star app for a light meter costs $9.99. I have gotten so used to free apps that I will probably try one of the 3 star apps first.

                        Lastly, don't be surprised if you both want to use the phone. My wife and I got androids at the same time and use them a lot. A lot of people we know that used to have blackberrys have switched to androids. I heard recently there are over 100,000 apps for androids.

                        Have fun,

                        OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                        THINK HARDER


                        MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC


                        • #13
                          Before you buy a phone, head on over to and check out the reviews and message boards there. XDA forums is also another place you're going to want to check out (they'll be a little more helpful on the technical details).

                          Make sure, however, that you get a phone which can be easily rooted. This means either one of the Nexus phones or one of the more popular (and high performance phones). The reason for this is that if you want/need to back up your phone (which you probably will at some point), you can only do this if your phone is rooted.