Boffins pitch "future phone"

James Middleton

January 24, 2007

1 Min Read
Boffins pitch "future phone"

A bit of a strange announcement found its way into our inbox this morning. The Open Wireless Architecture (OWA) group is promising to unveil something called the “future phone” at its World Wireless Congress in Stanford on May 21.

Founded by Willie Lu, consulting professor at Stanford University, the OWA group claims its design will include a full range of advanced software-defined radio technologies, as well as an open PC-type architecture and a single sign on ID for Voice over IP.

OWA’s aim is to create a device that will use any form of internet connectivity, with soft handover between networks. Like the Universal Software Radio Peripheral project, the organisation is working on an open source, multi-service, software-defined RF stack, which will be the heart of a device whose component subsystems could be sourced from any vendor, rather like the PC architecture introduced by IBM.

What is especially interesting about the announcement is the suggestion that “this Future Phone will integrate the traditional office phone, home phone and mobile phone into one Personal phone with one single phone number”.

This could either mean that the group has a centralised switching platform in mind, which is hardly new, or else that they have a peer to peer identity system in mind, which would be an interesting technical development.

However it is not clear whether the announcement is referring to an actual device, a device reference design, a design for a whole system, or even the rest of the system. That the World Wireless Congress website illustrates this with a photo of an Apple iPhone and a note that there is no Apple content in the “future phone” is interesting in itself.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of | Follow him @telecomsjames

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