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Old 02-25-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
nealsharmon
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Interface Android Cell Phone via Amazon Kindle Touch

Project: Interface with Android Cell Phone via Amazon Kindle Touch (blog post with photos)
Background: I have spent so much time on computers over the past 10 years that my eyes hurt me when I’m on a screen that produces light for too long. I get headaches. This pain makes it difficult for me to do things that I would like to do on a computer (like planning and writing in my journal), but end up doing on paper because of discomfort. The problem rules out almost all devices except for non-light emitting screens like eInk. The problem is that mobile devices that support eInk do not support other applications that I would like to use. For example, the kindle does not support Evernote, which is my favorite journal and idea application. My cell phone, on the other hand, does support Evernote and other applications that I would like to use. It also connects to the Internet from anywhere. It’s way faster than the Kindle.
Hardware: Samsung Galaxy Note (on AT&T, not unlocked), Kindle Touch (5.0 Operating System), Timbuktu Case

Objective: I want to be able to interact with my cellphone operating system through my Kindle Touch screen. I want to see the interface I have on my phone on the Kindle Touch. I want to be able to touch the Kindle and interact with my cellphone.

I've talked to a half dozen developers about what they would charge to do this for me, with no solutions so far. Here's a history of my work (with photos).

Any insights or developers here that would have suggestions about how to approach this or interest in developing it for me for hire?

Thanks in advance folks!
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:26 PM   #2
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I have to admint that is quite a special setup you need. I can't adivse you to wait until somebody makes alternatives for the apps you need. I don't know what apps you use and honestly it might never happen. But I am kind of worried, you point out that your android phone is fast. Do you realize that not only you have a device that might (or might not) be slower than your cell phone, but most importantly has a slow eink display? (Slow by design, not "slower than others.") As for the "connected everywhere" maybe the 3G will help here (I don't know).

Last edited by Nyoxi; 02-25-2012 at 05:27 PM. Reason: missing word
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:04 PM   #3
nealsharmon
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Yes...it is a special setup. I didn't plan to post here but I contacted a specific developer on the forum to hire him and he suggested I post to the entire forum.

I've been using Kindle since a month after version 1 came out. I am aware of the speed differences between eink and lcd. EInk speed is totally acceptable if I could get it on top of my android phone features.

But eink is not as slow as my test of VNC Server/Viewer with a droid and the Galaxy Note over Wifi (without eink to slow it down more). I imagine if I bought a Nook, rooted it, and connected via VNC, it would be even slower.

How do I turn the kindle into a touch screen interface for my phone? Is that possible?

The killer apps for me are in this order: #1 Evernote, #2 Kindle Books, #3 Gospel Library, #4 Web/Email, #5 Contacts (and I absolutely love the interface to my galaxy note - pen input and handwriting transcription).

I would really love my all-purpose mobile device (for most people, it is their phone) without the light-emitting screen. I've been waiting for someone to create it for 4 years now and I've consigned myself to the fact that I'm going to have to create myself a custom solution if I'm ever going to get what I want.

Hoped to get a few insights or someone interested in taking on the project for pay among the Kindle gurus. Forgive me if it's too specific a post for this forum.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:10 PM   #4
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BTW, I bought a Pixel Qi screen for my laptop the day it came out and installed it into a Samsung Netbook to achieve the same end. I've used it for a year or two. The Pixel Qi screen DIY kit only works on older netbooks and it does not compare with the contrast of eInk for reading (no light is refreshing and better, but I find my eyes strained for another reason because of lack of contrast). But the real reason I'm searching for another solution is that my netbook machine is getting slow and is a pain to carry around and open and wait for Windows 7 to wake and allow me to input a note or reference a document.

So, I continue my search to find a powerful mobile system behind an eInk display.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:12 PM   #5
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It's not too specific for this forum. In fact there may be poeple here that could find this idea interesing. I however cannot help you, one thing is lack of time (mony can't solve that), and second I don't have any android cell phone to test it with.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:24 PM   #6
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I think porting Android to Kindle is more interesting instead of just screen and control an Android over VNC
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:41 PM   #7
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Nyoxi, can't help with time...hard to come by. I do have my old Motorola Droid that I've been using for testing. I could send that to someone who wanted to help me.

Novo, I agree. That would work too. The Nook Simple Touch is built on Android and has a full blown Android interface for it (and a support community around the rooted Nook). I will likely end up there if I can't find a way to turn my Kindle Touch into a touch screen monitor for my Galaxy Note.

Maybe I should be looking at porting over the OS from off my Galaxy Note onto the Kindle? Then I'd have the pen writing capabilities of the Note. I wonder what the hurdles would be for interacting with the Kindle's touch screen? I know that it's infrared and likely has custom software/drivers for making it work.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:47 AM   #8
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Guys, I've experimented enough with VNC now that I'm convinced that the interface and the speed are both too cumbersome to make the solution usable. Thanks for your help though.

Plus, the Kindle Touch screen doesn't respond very well to the S-Pen.

Problem not solved but the way I'm trying to do it will not work. I heard Samsung bought Liquavista. Maybe we will see a reflective display on a decent machine in the future.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:02 AM   #9
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but but but......

So the following may sound very pedantic, but I am going to do it anyway :-)

Neal, I question your initial statement:
it boils down to that you have been on computers for a long time now, and that screens producing light give you a grave discomfort (headache) while e-ink screens do not.

I have looked into this (also for coworkers) repeatedly, and I am myself somebody with problems with my eyes (need strong glasses) and use computers for > 8 hours a day, and have been doing this for the past 25 years, also experience with reading on ipad and e-ink readers

Physically, light is light, reflective (as with e-ink) or emissive ( as with lcd screens) so the emission can phisycally NOT be the problem.

however:
99% of the people have their lcd screen more then 50% too bright! considering the contrast in the vicinity (background) of their screen, and there could be numerous other reasons, including psychological why using an LCD in a certain way makes you hurt

so, not denying that there could be something going on that I have no clue about (and there many such things :-) I would suggest some more experimentation with LCD-screens:
  • put the backlighting waaaaaay down (around 30%) and use a high contrast theme
  • take care that the space behind your screen is at least as well lighted (brightness) as the white on your screen (contrast switching makes your head hurt)
  • maybe the fast switching of windows that can be done on an lcd gives you headaches, therfor try using everything fullscreen, and try to work on one task having all windows needed for that task visible. not too much task switching, did you consider that the current "slowness"of e-ink screens might give you the needed rest?
  • make all fonts bigger so that you do not have to squint,
  • put the screen at a good distance, I have had problems putting the screen close: it makes the muscles in your eyes have to work hard to point to the objects realatively close, while if the screen is further away, the eye axis can be more parallel--> less work for the muscle


once again: just trying to be helpfull, because I have really strong feelings against arguments that seem physically not true. (disclaimer again: there might be something goimng on that I do not understand)
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nealsharmon View Post
I have spent so much time on computers over the past 10 years that my eyes hurt me when I’m on a screen that produces light for too long. I get headaches. This pain makes it difficult for me to do things that I would like to do on a computer
In all seriousness, Neal, I'd suggest that you put this project on hold and go and see an optician. The issues you describe are not normal. It sounds as if you either need glasses, or else the prescription of your existing glasses is wrong for your eyesight. I've been sitting in front of computers for about 3x longer than you have, and I've learned that headaches are a sure sign that I need new glasses.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
In all seriousness, Neal, I'd suggest that you put this project on hold and go and see an optician. The issues you describe are not normal. It sounds as if you either need glasses, or else the prescription of your existing glasses is wrong for your eyesight. I've been sitting in front of computers for about 3x longer than you have, and I've learned that headaches are a sure sign that I need new glasses.
First step: go see an optician.
Second step: grow younger.
I.E: It may just be the natural effects of aging. But unless you want to stop aging....

My own background - I have been looking at computer monitors since some smart-ass salesman came in with a 'glass' replacement for my teletype machine.

The above suggestion to keep the light levels and contrast levels of your display similar to the background surroundings is a good one. (Reflective displays naturally do this.)

Also, look up from the screen so your eyes can focus at a different distance frequently.
The body evolved where everything is at varying distances, not just 18 inches in front of your eyes 18 hours a day.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:11 PM   #12
nealsharmon
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Guys,

Thanks for your concern. I've checked my eyes twice since I started having these problems. 20/20 both times and the eye doctor simply recommended that I look up from the screen more and that I put a warm cloth on my eyes at night.

Glasses won't help for me, but I think the time is nearing because even though I pass the tests for 20/20, I think my eyes don't see as well.

Appreciate the comments!
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