1. benjaminries's Avatar
    Idea (not sure if this is possible in a firmware update to current Redfly devices):

    It seems like even the absolute cheapest, dumbest little devices from ebay can read and display JPGs as well as a few popular video formats from flash memory. Whether it is knockoff portable media players, digital picture frames, etc... I'm guessing the actual device firmware required is farely simple and widely available.

    On a recent vacation I took, I was thinking it would have been cool to look through my pictures on the Redfly's screen, but wasn't keen on the slow-down of running everything through Windows Mobile's software to do it. How about implementing a simple viewer that kicks in when there's no Windows Mobile device attached, but just USB mass storage with recognized files? It could just page through them linearly with the arrow keys. It could even just start with a quick JPG viewer that scales photos to fit the screen...
    05-17-2009 08:03 PM
  2. drowe's Avatar
    I'd vote against this.... First it is "feature creep" which leads to "bloatware". Beyond that, if it has it's own storage or even a usb drive plugged in, losing it becomes a security issue. If you have your corporate network drawings in .jpg files on it, which is easy to do, losing it becomes much more serious. Now if you lose it, you are out the money, but your passwords, data, files, etc are safe because they are all on the phone.

    Moving storage and processing to the Redfly kind of defeats the purpose of having one. At that point you have a very bad netbook.

    David
    05-18-2009 11:50 AM
  3. benjaminries's Avatar
    I'd vote against this.... First it is "feature creep" which leads to "bloatware". Beyond that, if it has it's own storage or even a usb drive plugged in, losing it becomes a security issue. If you have your corporate network drawings in .jpg files on it, which is easy to do, losing it becomes much more serious. Now if you lose it, you are out the money, but your passwords, data, files, etc are safe because they are all on the phone.

    Moving storage and processing to the Redfly kind of defeats the purpose of having one. At that point you have a very bad netbook.

    David
    I think you totally misunderstood/mischaracterized my suggestion.

    I'm suggesting that the Redfly simply display any JPG files on a USB mass storage device that I connect externally (i.e. a thumb drive or a CF card in a USB card reader). This would be similar to a cheap digital photo frame.

    I'm NOT suggesting that Redfly have any extra processing power or built-in storage! Where did you get that idea? Having a thumb drive plugged in to the Redfly is no more a "security risk" than having your PHONE plugged in.

    And this idea about feature creep & bloatware is nonsense. My suggested feature fits entirely within the stated Redfly vision - that the Redfly provide a larger screen and a full keyboard for the mobile devices that we already carry with us. The media port added to the C8N shows that Celio is willing to think beyond Windows Mobile devices to rich media players like the iPhone with video out cables. I'm saying that providing simple JPG/MPG/AVI playback from USB storage would provide similar functionality for a far bigger audience in a much simpler way.
    05-24-2009 09:30 AM
  4. drowe's Avatar
    I can already do this using the built in picture viewer with the phone attached. If you want the redfly to do it as a stand alone device, that is a feature outside of the scope of redfly vision "that the Redfly provide a larger screen and a full keyboard for the mobile devices ..." not a stand alone device.
    05-24-2009 09:56 AM
  5. benjaminries's Avatar
    I can already do this using the built in picture viewer with the phone attached. If you want the redfly to do it as a stand alone device, that is a feature outside of the scope of redfly vision "that the Redfly provide a larger screen and a full keyboard for the mobile devices ..." not a stand alone device.
    But surely the media port on the C8N displays raw video input without the phone? I don't wish to quibble about a "vision" that is entirely contrived marketing material anyway, but one must admit that devices running Windows Mobile are not the only "mobile devices" for which a larger screen is provided.

    No, the definition of "mobile devices" with which the Redfly now works includes anything that produces analog video out. iPhone, PMP, etc. This, despite the fact that Windows Mobile devices can already play video using built-in apps... so why allow direct input? Because the Redfly firmware required to display direct raw video is trivial and far more efficient than going through the phone.

    I'm saying that USB thumb drives are also mobile devices. So are camera media cards. And the firmware required to display the JPGs on them is trivial. And direct display is far more efficient than going through the phone.

    Surely these arguments are best left to those actually in the company. But the discussion does raise interesting questions about the meaning of a stand-alone device vs. the Redfly, or why anyone would be interested in the Redfly at all. I think that for the average consumer, the benefit of the Redfly is in its small size, low weight, price and simplicity... not in the fact that it lacks features and functionality, or in the fact that it is "not" a laptop. Insofar as functionality can be added with little or no penalty, I (and I imagine most consumers) would be without complaint.
    05-25-2009 07:29 PM
  6. mknollman's Avatar
    I agree with ben - I am not convinced that video would work as codecs are so wide and varying and some horsepower is needed to render it, but I see no reason why an image viewer wouldn't be an easy addition. The only downside I see to this is the fact that it complicates things a little more, and Celio might worry that the extra complication might take away the ease of connect turn on and work. I wojld love to see this ability added though, and video too if possible. If the dreaded iphone has taught us anyhting it is that a consumer-aimed product will make it in the business arena if it is liked by the business person. It maynot be the most capable but it will succeed still by allowing the fun side to work along the business side. Working the bugs out of this slow rendering pics and video issue would do a lot to let the RF gain favor in the businness market. It could become well-loved not just by the IT guy for its simplicity, but also by the businessman for its function AND its fun.
    05-26-2009 08:06 AM
  7. BengtBeier's Avatar
    Well, seeing it from this point of view, I think it's a decent proposal.
    It'd have to be dead simple to work, though.

    So, if no phone is connected, it should be as simple as putting the drive in and it would show the photos on the screen right away. Have an overview mode where you can see a bunch (like 50) as thumbnails and a full screen viewer mode and changing between both happens by pressing the up/down keys.

    Also, seeing it like that, wouldn't it make sense to actually have a slot for sd-cards built into the redfly? (Dunno if that's possible but I imagine it should be easy and pretty cheap).
    05-27-2009 11:07 AM
  8. benjaminries's Avatar
    Yeah, video is kind of useless in retrospect unless the device had onboard sound (and now we're talking WAY too complicated).

    A simple JPG viewer is all; doesn't even need a thumbnail overview screen. I'm talking about all the complexity of a keychain digital picture-frame: show the first JPG file it finds in USB mass storage (when phone not connected), and use left/right arrow keys to go through them all.

    I strongly believe something this simple is already possible in firmware for existing Redfly devices.
    05-29-2009 10:18 PM
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