PE Chapter 10 — Chattodo phone
Not only the most productive phone, but also the most correct phone.Breaking the association of phones with mindless browsing. Our phone will be a cue for productivity.
“This is one reason why the versatility of modern technology is both a strength and a weakness. You can use your phone for all sorts of tests, which makes it a powerful device. But when you can use your phone to do nearly anything it becomes hard to associate it with one task you want to be productive, but you’re also conditioned to browse social media check email and play video games whenever you open your phone. It’s a mishmash of Q’s You may be thinking look, you know understand. I live in New York City my apartment size of a smartphone. I need to have a room that can play multiple roles fair enough if your space is limited. Space is limited divide your room into activity zones a chair for reading a desk for writing a table for eating you can do the same with your digital spaces. I know a writer uses his computer only for writing his tablet only for reading and his phone only for social media and texting every habit should have a home if you can manage to stick with the strategy each". - a book, called, Atomic Habits.
Sarathe for Preseed
“A quintessential 80’s child, had a designated dream to fulfill and become a doctor as per his parents wish. He did not have any dreams to become a doctor. He was more curious about learning life in a different way. He had dropped out of school before completing his higher secondary because none of it made any sense to him, he had this unending thirst to learn new things each day, explore new dimensions — as fascinating as computers were to him at that age, school’s weren’t equipped to teach more than what books offer and books taught him to score marks and nothing more.
He moved out of home when he was 18 and started working for a support centre, which to an extent made him explore new chapters in his life, learn new lessons about computers and it was also the time mobile industry went mainstream. He was even more fascinated about the possibilities that cell phones offered, it was a tiny wonder in the palm of his hands — as he worked for AOL, Alienware, Dell and Qualiex, he was more involved in technology, raising from being a support engineer to a product manager — making calls on how a computer or a phone will be designed — it gave hi a new kind of learning experience, the best lesson he learned is how to fix something that doesn’t really seem broken.
There is an unending search, an unending quest for an irrational future that pushes one forward and his irrational future is to see perfection in things that are superficially perfect. We are working on cell phones, connected devices, apps — every experience we could imagine where we could make things better.
His name is Sarathe. It means — charioteer.
He is here to ensure that I can release myself from everything of Preseed, except its most important startup, Chattodo. Which implies he is here to do all else. I will however hold responsibility of his actions until I feel I have empowered him with brief and resources required. When we are a large company, I will love for Sarathe to fill the desk of the COO at Preseed, where my role is to layout my vision of Preseed Ecell, its various elements to him and connections, so he could manifest them for you”. — Nishchal
I have found my man for co building with, the best phone ever made at a price point of $2000/-. His name is Sarathe and he is going to be the man inside our phone’s hardware. I will be the man inside our phone’s communication and productivity software. We are here to fix something that is not already broken, at least for most. Below is as a sum of a written dialogue between him and I, about the Chattodo phone:
What was a mere dream a few years ago is a living reality right now, which was born out of an irrational dream. We have an irrational dream too; to build a better connected mobile eco system for result oriented humans, not because what is available now is inadequate but everything could actually be so much better than what we are currently used to.
The last innovation that happened in this space was 9 years ago, when the market wasn’t focused on one company or one product, each and every phone was unique, every phone had a character for itself. Except after the grand success of the iPhone 4, every cell phone manufacturer took it upon themselves to design phones thinner than the iPhone 4. Apple did not innovate much in terms of camera or pretty much anything else until then, it was easy for them to make a thinner phone, every other manufacturer had invested and innovated in the cell phone camera space; Sony and Samsung had 12MP camera’s in the phones back in 2009, Nokia had a 43MP camera in 2010, except when they had to start playing Apple’s cards, they dumped all the fine work they did to include camera’s that were sub-par to what they already had on offer.
The above links are about few phones that focused on the camera experience more than anything else. All these phones had 12MP cameras in 2009, a year before iPhone 4 was even introduced, but after the iPhone 4 was a success in the market, the companies worked towards making the phone thinner, defiled the benchmark they set for themselves and created sub-par experience just because it was just enough to be a success. Everything had purely become a numbers game. Being super thin isn’t just unhealthy for humans but for phones too.
It’s not just the camera that suffered, the phones started packing smaller batteries yet at the same time the phones were beginning to become very powerful, resulting in sub-par battery life. The entire experience had worsened over the course of two years, sub-par became the industry standard because everyone were travelling on the same direction.
This lead to unhealthy market saturation, especially in the last three years with the advent of Chinese OEM’s who offer what most flagship phones offer, for less than half the price. Just last year alone there were over 27 phones that looked exactly like iPhones, iPhone are great devices, and they work near flawless but they are not really the healthy benchmark for the industry to follow. The trend is slowly changing — the market is so saturated with phones that have little to differentiate between them, yet there have been real successful Crowd Funding campaigns for phones that literally offer nothing of note, except for being slightly different.
Saygus V Squared is one of the most important vapourware of our times, the phone never made it to the market and the makers are currently being sued for refunds, the phone offered nothing new except for expandable memory up to 400 gb, which soon turned moot because phones that could offer up to 2000 gb expandable storage came to the market. Though raising millions of dollars in the phone didn’t make it to the market because their USP wasn’t strong enough and the interest soon waned.
Nextbit Robin, is another device, a beautiful phone with a unique USP — with a fixed storage on the phone, there was a system that automatically uploads unused apps and data to the cloud and downloads when needed — the USP was unique, raised millions of dollars both on Crowdfunding and Venture funding, the phone released and was panned by all the critics because what seemed like a very special USP seemed very trivial in real life — what could have been fixed with more memory or microSD card, instead the phone used loads of expensive data and not to mention the whole setup was time consuming.
These examples are not to point out flaws in the competition; this is to merely show how saturated the market currently is, there is no real difference in most of the products and when someone talks about even tiny trivial things the entire market gets really excited.
It’s not just our irrational dream of a non-existing future, but there is an entire market that’s waiting for meaningful innovation.
We are not looking to reinvent the entire wheel; our work is based on the understanding that almost every aspect of the phone or connected devices could be so much better than what actually exists because better technologies existed before the companies started to clone themselves to replicate success.
An empty canvas can turn into any art, back when phones were designed without having to beat any numbers in terms of size, features — they were all unique, the consumers got better battery life on phones, better cameras, phone that actually could create better experiences. We are starting on the same empty canvas philosophy, our flag ship product, the phone itself is engineered to perfect the three main aspects of the phone as an everyday device; COMMUNICATION, PHOTOGRAPHY, MULTIMEDIA.
As we mentioned earlier, a phone has become the primary computing device everyone carries, it also is the primary / only camera for 90% of the population and the perfect media consumption device. We are looking to improve or bring out the best possible experience in all these aspects, again.
Communication / Phone:
The most important part of the perfect phone experience is the phone itself. Our phone is going to be based on Android, with a custom AI based skin on top of it. Our main USP here is a clean experience, with absolutely nothing more than pure android experience and apps. Our AI skin is designed to be clean, agile and lean, with absolutely no bloatware or crapware on top of it. This enables us to keep the entire experience neat and gives us the ability to keep the phones updated quick and seamless.
There are over 1.5 million apps on the play store; we want to give users the ability to use their phone the way they see fit. Only the core phone apps will be shipped with the phone, only the camera and music/media player app would be custom built to take advantage of the hardware, everything else will be stock, pure android experience. For advanced users, we give native root and boot loader unlock options without losing the warranty, providing a true best in class reference design.
Designing a bespoke phone isn’t just about making it look beautiful but also functional, a single button system that controls volume, power and camera, edge to edge display with essential components embedded behind the screen and since we are not looking to create a thin phone, we have the liberty to make the phone more solid — having a thin phone is more aesthetics than function and most often times even aesthetics don’t really matter because almost all of those beautiful thin phones gets slapped on with a protective case which isn’t functional and makes the phone thick anyways. We are looking to cut off the need for a protective case, make the phone solid on its own, while giving us more valuable space inside the phone to add bigger batteries, bigger camera modules and meaningful innovations.
The cost difference between a good earpiece / speaker / mic on the phone and a bad one is few dollars and yet most companies insist on not delivering the best experience, this isn’t so much an invention but merely an eye for detail in providing the best call experience possible, with custom antenna design to improve on signal strength we are working to provide the best possible sound on a call.
http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_xz_premium-review-1610p6.php — the loud speaker part of this review highlights the difference in volume and quality even on phones from the same company. There is no logical explanation as to why few phones have good speaker systems and few don’t.
Battery life is one other area of improvement we are focusing on, since the size of the phone isn’t our first concern; we are working to include two silicon anode batteries on an intelligent firmware that’s designed to improve batteries overall lifetime before it stops to perform optimally, improving the battery’s best performance from months to years, while also focusing on general everyday battery life between charges. Our phones could easily last two days of very heavy usage before requiring recharges. Silicon anode is a relatively new technology but has the potential to change the landscape. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium%E2%80%93silicon_battery
Cell phones are the primary camera for most of the users and for a bigger part of the users their only camera. Yet, this is one component that went reverse in terms of development, back in 2009 before the iPhone 4 came out, the phone companies weren’t particularly focused on making thinner phones, they made devices that challenged their engineering abilities. As mentioned in the links above there were better camera systems on phones back in 2009 than what we have today.
While a DSLR or a dedicated point and shoot camera has the space required to include better sensors and complex lens assembly, the modern cell phones because of the size limits they have to be designed within can’t afford the same level of complex system. It is an incredible engineering feat of what has been achieved in this space within the given space restrictions but there wasn’t a real need to achieve that in the first place. It took years of mediocre cameras before things started to look comparable to 2009 levels.
We are working with DxO — one of the best camera engineering teams in the world, they are special because they designed the benchmark tool that is used to measure the quality of every camera in the market right from DSLR’s to Cell phone cameras.
With their engineering expertise, we are working to create two different camera systems. One more like a traditional module — except with a bigger sensor to capture better images and a custom built lens assembly both of them vastly improve the image quality.
The second experimental system is to include a very capable sensor and provide custom, interchangeable lens system more like how DSLR’s work, we are creating API and protocols to create an open license system where lens makers could use our IP without paying royalties and build different lens systems for the camera. This system has its engineering challenges but this is a very interesting research that we are going to relentlessly pursue.
This is image that shows the sensor sizes normally used, the first one being a full frame 35mm film size and the last one being the size generally used on cell phones. Even a tiny 1mm difference in size translates to better image quality, it’s the same image that’s captures but how well it can translate into various mediums from web to print is decided by the sensor.
While it may be true most people don’t really have an eye for photography and aren’t aware of how the camera must work but irrespective of the users level of knowledge, the pictures they capture are going to be with them for a long time, its memories they capture and we are working hard to present them with a system that gives them the best possible way to capture their memories.
Most of the pro-camera applications available in the app stores are essentially filters applied on the image rather than capturing the original image with the given settings like different ISO or Aperture settings. This is because most of the app’s don’t have access to the camera hardware and even if they do, the hardware is not capable enough to work with different settings. We are designing our system to be more open and when requested provide unrestricted access to the camera hardware and also making the camera hardware itself more flexible in terms of what could be extracted out of them.
Starting with audio, we have a big hairy audacious goal of creating the best sound ever on any portable device — period.
Sound at its core is analogue — its recorded analogue and its final output is analogue but the entire journey it takes in between is digital. From the time the sound is recorded to its final playback the audio takes an incredible journey getting compressed and losing its integrity on the way, almost all of the system available right now from Hi-Res audio to wireless — everything is mainly focused on improving the digital journey of the audio, very few improvements if any have been made on improving the analogue part of the audio — either during recording or playback on the phones.
Our research and implementation is focused on this part of the audio which is very important for faithful production and reproduction of the audio. Our systems are the only one’s currently even in research which is looking into the possibilities of including a vacuum tube system for improving the audio output. A warm, complete beautiful sound irrespective of if it’s a hi-res audio from HD services or your regular old MP3 files from 10 years ago — the quality will never be sub-par. Loud, punchy, tight sound from any format, any file — new or old — that’s our focus.
This system also is APP independent which means all the apps will have unrestricted access to the hardware and can take advantage of the system.
While vacuum tube amplifiers are nothing new, this is the first time the technology is being introduced in phones and we are working to give complete unrestricted control to advanced users and audiophiles who can tune the system to their preference both in the software and at the hardware level.
This works both ways, recording from the mic are routed through the valves and the output to headphones are also routed through the valves. Both ways the production and reproduction is an experience very close to reality, a warm, natural sound.
By design we are including bigger displays, on a body that’s easier to handle either watching movies on the screen or listening to music, we are looking to create an immersive experience with a high-resolution screen tuned to future proof for VR, games and movies.
Our focus is not on reinventing the wheel, there isn’t any real need to do that — our work focuses on simply providing the best possible hardware for all aspects of the phone. Run it on software that complements the hardware without making the phone slow for everyday use or complicate the OS update process in the long run. Since every aspect of the phone has open access, we don’t have to ship it with complicated first party apps — the user can choose any app they are comfortable with and get the complete set of advantages the hardware offers. We are very clear about the fact that we are a hardware company — unless there is a necessity to include an app to take advantage of some specific feature; we are not going to invest in the same.
The world doesn’t need another software ecosystem to keep them locked in, we believe in creating experiences that are consistent, works the same way on the last day as it did on the first day. It’s not just about how a person feels the first time they open the phone that matters, the experience over the months or years and most importantly how the phone works towards the last few months before the user changes to a new device decide if they are going to reinvest in the brand and our focus is towards that experience.
Our batteries are designed to perform optimally for years, a camera system that could click perfect pictures every time the user clicks a picture and all the audiophiles know that the vacuum value systems mature beautifully with age — the more they are used, the better their ability to produce warmer sound.
Wearables are the next evolution in the connected ecosystem and our immediate focus is to create a compelling wearable device that will be shipped with every phone, driving user adoption instantly to what is currently an optional accessory. Because it’s seen as an optional accessory the market hasn’t warmed up to its potential yet, by making it an essential part of the experience, we are looking to push the market to try and reinvent what wearables could do if they can exhibit full potential.
Android market has over 2 billion monthly active users. Our current core focus for the first wave of products is to be able to attract .5% to 1% of the users on Android platform and being able to get the attention of iOS users — we want to be a disruptive brand — our focus of just 1% market is because of the space we are focused on — of the 2 billion users on android — over 80% of them work with mid and low end phones — only about 17% of them use high end flagship phones. We are aiming for 1% in that 17% — which still is an impressively big number.
Currently in the High end market there is — iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note, HTC One, LG G, LG V, Sony Xperia Z — these all of them combined is a 500 million phone a year market — our target is to build a phone better than each one of them .
In the flagship realm, even the least selling phone’s which are from sony still sold over 1.5% or about 10–15 million phones — there always is space for a new phone / brand in the market — in the flagship range even more so. There is no denying that competition is tough, but with the right product and the right kind of attention we will be able to capture 1% market share within a year.
To that end of getting attention, we are in conversation with some of the most respected, influential journalists and tech reviewers in the industry, to give us inputs during the engineering stage of the product. Instead of getting a product reviewed after its released, working with these people early on will help us build a better product from the beginning rather than creating a product that then gets reviewed.
Our vision extends to more than just the phone and the wearables — we have a whole roadmap with internet of things, everything from locks to thermostats, lights to home automation — everything built to work on industry standards rather than proprietary ecosystem. Again we can’t stress this enough, that Tring is a pure play hardware company focused on creating the best possible hardware and believe in locking in the customers with sustained performance, quality and experience being the USP”.
Consider the above as my co-founder’s introduction through his work at Preseed, quietly so far!
Our collective is beyond just a creation of a bespoke phone. It is about a creation of a philosophy. Where Sarthe’s role is to focus on the hardware. And my role is to focus on all of that philosophy of which phone is a mere component, where Preseed is the method of taking that philosophy into science of making that into a product, far superior than an iPhone for a selective breed of people first.
Who is this breed of people? Tough is this breed of people. Not just cool, tough!
So far, ‘If one doesn’t own an iPhone, they own a phone, that’s it’- implying, android is not as cool as IOS. It is also not as crisp as iOS. So the placement of our brand in that regard that it breaks this vanity/cool factor, goes into a terrain that is above cool. Perhaps “tough” — like I can take a helicopter to reach a mountain summit, but I will ride a royal enfield of my grandfather all the way to that summit; or I can switch on the ac in the summer heat, but I will not even switch on the fan, I will beat heat with my body’s own ability to do so; I can have my chauffeur ride me in a Mercedes to office in the same summer heat, but I will ride the bicycle instead; or I can join the best gym in the city; but I will go and train in the streets and parks barefooted. I could have lived in a luxury hotel, but I will still chose to live wearing a white robe in an ashram, serving the people and animals alike. I could sleep in a water bed, but I will still go by the river, spread a sheet, and sleep there.
It is that kind of people I am calling tough.
Preseed want’s to build to build more such people in this world.
So I repeat, it’s not just about a phone, where hardware is a mere component of the larger vision of — a philosophy of ‘actionability’ by 2020.
Software wise: I am in complete realization, that software wise, we have a philosophy which covers the kind of software experience which achieves a purpose in a phone of pure original productivity. This is lost in current phones because all phones are designed for too much, as a software. Too much noise.
We have been building Preseed to put beyond a current culture of talks, a culture of action, in the hands of people through our software and hardware. This phone stands for that exact same sensibility. That is why it is a good fit to our a company mission which is software first in nature.
This phone is the most productive bespoke phone ever, with the greatest camera, battery and sound experience, ever.
In short, this is -
Not only the most productive phone, but also the most correct phone.
We have collected a team of hardware and software guys exactly suited to this purpose with a right mix of inhouse and outsourced talent.
The narrative above is about a vision for the most productive phone, of which Sarathe is building the hardware independent of the software, to yet make the most complete phone as a hardware.
And I am making the software, independent of the hardware.
Our software is not an operating system, it is a software layer on top of android, which with a button will make our phone into a noise free productivity device. The software journey we started with Todoed (chrome extension — done, fb bot — done, waiting approval from fb, and now we are 30% done with the productivity mobile app, which will power our phone through a productivity button on our phone. This software cluster however is designed right from its birth to work on other phones too both android and ios as a social network of action, if you can imagine fb and twitter as social network of talks.
However, both software and hardware will be packaged in our phone as one, with a button exclusively dedicated to our software piece.
Note -: Both software and hardware are being made to be independently successful. I am certain that our software will be actually world changing, over and above our phone, so our software’s success can go to billions of dollars and impact can reach billions of people using all kinds of phones. ( Although I acknowledge its at just a dream, code and a team stage for now, but thats where it all starts from ).
Our software piece, can be explored from this note I wrote in complete independence from our mobile phone vision. Because this software will not just be limited to our phone. It’s just that, that our phone will be designed to handle this software with an additional button on the phone. Thus, adding an extraordinary level of possibility for being productive if you are the user of our phone.
Read this article to draw a commonalities between us and the supposed founder of Android.
Lastly, I want to state that if Andy Rubin can dream it, so can we. The difference between his dream and ours is, that we are not dreaming it merely to become a cult that he seems to want to become. He probably would have, had he not left things incomplete soon after he starts. Another difference to be sited in the future between us and him is, that we won’t say something outrageous and deliver mediocre. We will deliver outrageous.
Our hardware -
- Notepad — This is how we are crowdfunding our company.
- Phone — Your most important device.
- Ring — A state of meditation.
- VR — Turn on, tune in, drop out.
Irrelevant now for we have a solid plan for crowdfunding. However, with additional $100,000 we can give you a world class wireframe within 3 months for the above . If you trust the leader I have identified for running our hardware unit, then you may consider investing in our hardware unit already, independent of my day to day role in it. With $1 million we can produce the world’s best phone within 6 months.
If you go ahead with the full blown Preseeded vision as an investor, then consider making an investment of $1 million in Preseeded for $10 million value because of the probable result of Nishchal and Sarathe’s union as a team at Preseeded, on software and hardware, respectively. Now your investment is on Preseeded as a whole, a truly rare organisation. That is why it is valued at $10 million even before its start. Because it is my value. And I am surrendered to the cause of Preseeded.