Rohit Chaudhri on A Programmable Accessory for Cell Phones

This talk has been cancelled. We will still be meeting, so bring your lunch, and we’ll have a discussion about all the exciting things Change might be up to next

This Thursday at Change, UW grad student Rohit Chaudhri will presenting his work on A Programmable Accessory for Cell Phones.

Rohit says, “Low-tier cell phones like the Nokia 1100, 1200, 2600 etc, are commonly used by individuals from low-income groups in developing regions. While these phones are cheap and affordable (within the $20-$30 range), they do not have a programmable runtime environment like Android, J2ME, Symbian, Windows Mobile etc, as is available on mid to high tier mobile phones. Hence mobile application developers are unable to create applications for these phones. This restricts the services that can be delivered to users of such phones. In this talk I will present an approach to extend the capabilities of low-tier cell phones. This uses a microcontroller-based accessory connected to the phone to achieve the goal. The idea is to use the cell phone for IO and communications, while application specific computation is offloaded to the microcontroller. I will present the high-level architecture of the system and then discuss implementation and platform capabilities. I will show a location aware application based on this platform. Towards the end I will discuss other possible applications. If folks have ideas about how this platform can be used for ICTD research, it would be great to discuss those during the talk.

I built this platform during my recent internship at MSR India in Bangalore. In prototype scale production, a completely assembled unit costs around $15. A tech report about this work is available at:

If time permits I will mention about other fun projects I was involved in during this awesome internship!”

What: Rohit Chaudhri on A Programmable Accessory for Cell Phones
When: Thursday, February 4 at Noon
Where: UW, Paul Allen Center, Room 203

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