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GroupMedia EZX Cellphones

Platform Developers : Anmol Madan, with help from Rohit Chaudhri and Chris Moh

The primary platform we use is an adapted version of Motorola's EZX Linux cellphones. The phones have been adapted to support research and data collection for various experimental studies. The phone platform is designed such that explicit permission from the user is required to start applications, data is anonymized and no speech content is saved. This platform is part of a collaboration between Motorla and the Human Dynamics Group.

As an embedded Linux device, the EZX phones are similar to the Zaurus, which makes them a likely future replacement platform for our research. Due to the computational nature of speech feature processing and machine learning algorithms, most of the real-time applications are written in native C/Embedded Qt. Data is stored on the transflash (A780) or the MMC card (e680i).

We can currently perform the following analysis on the Linux phones :

  • Perform real-time speech feature analysis on audio streams to measure vocal activity, emphasis, mirroring, and influence
  • Map location and buddy proximity using cell-tower and bluetooth
  • Compare interactions to a buddylist, label and annotate various types of interactions
  • Send SMS / MMS automatically (with appropriate permissions)
  • Prompt the user to take pictures of an important event (with appropriate permissions)

In addition to research code, we have also been working to make the phone more usable.

  • Cross-compile BlueZ to replace the restricted bluetooth implementation
  • Cross-compile the kernel to add wifi support
  • Replace the native ash shell and other utilities
Other platforms used by the team are described on the Borglab systems page.

Open Source Mobile Phones

Madan A. "The Open Source Cell Phone: Lead Users and Early Adopters in the Mobile Phone Industry", class paper for Innovation Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Sloan Business School (pdf)

Madan A."Lenovo's Mobile Phone Strategy: Using Open Source to Compete with the Big Three", class paper for Innovation Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Sloan Business School (pdf)