Mozilla's Seabird smartphone concept -- community-driven awesomesauce

We joke in the podcast chatroom that myself, or someone like me should invent and design the next Android phone.  Imagine the Homer if you will.  Thankfully, someone better qualified and smarter has taken the task to heart, and the Mozilla Labs Seabird concept is born.  Note the word concept -- this is just a pipe dream so far, but it's such a damn nice pipe dream we had to share.  Imagine a phone running Android, with all software completely open-source (are you listening carriers?) and amenities like:

  • 8 MP Camera
  • Dual Pico projectors
  • embedded BT dongle/headset/presentation style mouse contraption
  • wireless charging
  • IR receiver/transmitter
  • A dock projects the screen and a virtual keyboard, along with a projected IR touchpad

Yes, prepare the smelling salts before you watch the concept video (after the break).  I can only see two three issues here -- all development on existing Android devices would grind to a screaming halt, carriers and open source aren't likely to mix very well, and I don't have one yet.  Hit the break to check out the videos, yes plural -- there's a 3D version too! [Mozilla Labs]

Youtube link for mobile viewing

3D version:

Mobile link (you know we gotta do it!)

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • And it would only cost $1500! Looks pretty cool.
  • Nah just $62.50 a month for 24 months @ zero % interest, then you will have your monthly plan on top of it :)
  • And a battery life of 16 minutes.
  • I'm in love ....
  • Looks good except for the baffling inclusion of mini USB. Like...what? Did they not get the memo about micro USB being standard now?
  • LOL, I thought the same thing
  • the future
  • Yeah, a future where perhaps batteries are at least 15 times more powerful.
  • All you gotta say about this phone is complain about the usb port!?! The phone had a vertural keyboard! Come on now.... I'm sure you can look past the usb...
  • And a battery that lasts 10 minutes.
  • Sweet concept. Did they show the back pack full of car batteries you have to carry to keep it going all day.
  • I need to change my pants after that.
  • This phone is awesome to bad it won't be coming for years since the technology would be to expensive for any one to pay
  • All the contacts at 1:48 are characters from "The IT Crowd". A British comedy. Nice one Mozilla!
  • Love that show. Not sure why I link that an Dr. Who in my head but for some reason I always have to watch them back to back :)
  • That phone just ROCKS. Can you say I-Phone who? You think the guys @ Apple would crap their pants? ;}
  • No, they would just introduce the same technology two years later and call it "innovative". -SR-
  • Did anyone else notice that when it went into "computer" mode at 1:07 (attached to the dock, with the virtual keyboard shining on the desk from one pico projector and the screen up on the blackboard shining from another) that the OS seemed to shift from what looked like Android to Windows 7? That really looks like the Windows Start logo plus a folder logo in the lower left hand corner and the Win 7 clock and system tray in the lower right. The phone is so cool, it not only dual boots, it shifts OS's on the fly! Gimme, gimme, gimme....
  • I just made my wife watch that to show her how I plan on replacing her in five years :) Battery life... pretty sure it'll just suck electricity from your brain or something.
  • RE: battery life.
    New wireless charging technology could let you plug a module into the wall, and the device charges while it's in the room. Just need someone to build it. Google up "wireless energy transfer"
  • Jerry, wireless power will really only be useful for a few inches. The power goes down the square of the distance if not directional. And if directional, it would be dangerous.
  • I think we will find out soon enough that wireless charging will hazardous to our health.
  • Me likes it. If they make it, and keep it open and up to date with timely updates I'm in. dump motorola and their lame programmers
  • so.. how are we supposed to view the 3d one?
  • Okay, there are no complaints coming from me. the silly little people whining @ features the phone has or doesn't have IT'S A FREAKING CONCEPT. (thanks had to get that out of my system)
    anyways, this is a smooth looking device. I love how the front is all landscape for the touch screen that's sexy. I do understand that juicing technology has to get better but wow! If this is the direction mobile goes, why have a desktop? I am excited about the future. My only concern is that you give this fully open fully customizable phone to carriers. Att will rub some Vaseline on it and, well, you probably wouldn't ever see it again.
    Verizon, they will take the open nature of it and build it into a prison full of their bloatware and we'd try to root it and it will self destruct and blow off your hand. Vzn warned you, don't root! LOL Anyways, I see the lock it down and tell consumers what they can have is coming to an abrupt end. The money mongers are gasping for breath.
    Sweet device. RAMBLE DONE
  • You said why have a desktop? Have you EVER tried to play games on a Mobile phone? Yeah, it doesn't work too well.
  • I cant hear the word seabird without thinking of the SNL skit with Dana Carvey.
  • It baffles me as well why everyone thinks this is so ridiculous. The ideas and technology behind this concept are very real and without a doubt, we'll be seeing a lot of this integrated into phones within the next couple of years.
  • I don't see why everyone thinks this is so futuristic, the technology has been around a long time I won't buy one because it's only useful on a flat surface.
  • Gotta say that's a freaking awesome cool concept.
  • I can't see the included bluetooth dongle being a viable feature (people are too particular on their earpieces) and it's wasted space in the phone. But as to the rest, I'd be willing to have a phone like that simply for the dual projected keyboard or even a single projected side-keyboard when used in landscape mode! Customizing keyboard size, space bar positioning, key layouts, programmable keys, the possibilities are amazing for something like that. Although it would require an evolution of battery technology and life before something like that could come around.
  • It's a beautiful device indeed.
  • I cant wait when till this technology is available