Now that we have began giving La Fonera 2.0 to coders, I started dreaming of new apps that I like to see done over the standard Fon functionality (give me WiFi, give some WiFi to others, allow me to make money with my WiFi, allow me to roam the world for free).

As you know the Fonera 2.0 is like a minicomputer that, other than being a social WiFi router, can do all sorts of things so long as we program it. And even more if we add an audio in, a mike, a speaker…

Here are the ideas, the good, the bad and the crazy ones.

-Fonera bridge functionality so i can get any encrypted signal or open signal from inside the home and turn it on the window to Fon signal.

-HSDPA to WiFi converter so HSDPA can be useful in many devices. For this the Fonera 2.0 should have a car plug or an external battery pack.

-Mesh functionality for wireless communities that, as opposed to foneros, have people who want WiFi and don’t have DSL or cable.

-A Flickr uploader so i can put the SD reader straight to the USB drive of La Fonera, go to my Fonera web page, instruct the Fonera to send those pictures to Flickr, leave my home and have La Fonera send them over the next hour or so. Same with Photobucket and other popular picture services.

-A youtube uploader so i can get my favorite videos into a pen drive or SD, stick it into the Fonera, upload them to Youtube while my laptop is doing something else or i left home.

Bit Torrent or Azureus: download my favorite movies and tv series (that are legal to download) into my hard drive that is plugged to La Fonera 2.0 all this while I am not at home or doing something else.

-Combine La Fonera 2.0 with another piece of WiFi hardware that goes in an amplifier and receives streamed music from my computer over La Fonera, or from a hard drive in La Fonera that I left programmed to do this. This hardware would be like a WiFi music receiver that gets WiFi signal and transforms it to audio out.

-Same idea, but with video and my TV so i can get video delivered to my TV over WiFi.

-An app that once i have the WiFi receiver in my TV shares my screensavers with my TV’s so i see my family and friend pictures in large TV screens.

-A network hard drive for both individual files and a WiFi back up system. This could be combined with as well.

-A WiFi network printer with printer plugged via USB to La Fonera.

-A wireless USB functionality so La Fonera can be somewhere and the peripherals somewhere else.

-A home monitoring system for security/babies that not only allows me to see, but to talk back to people near the camera again using already existing cameras. Even just a microphone without a camera would be good so you can listen to what is going on around La Fonera like a baby monitor.

-Buttons that could be on La Fonera and given specific uses, for example, that are pressed when an older person takes medication so this person can be monitored from the outside. If they don´t press the button, they may need a phone call reminding them to take it or they maybe simply……. dead. On a similar vein a panic button for security reasons that is tied to a security service.

-The ability to add a simple keyboard and monitor to La Fonera to use it as a simple Linux computer (i would need video card and probably a more powerful computer). But this simple computer could do tasks that i may not want my expensive laptop to be doing, such as being a media server.

-A WiFi pbx system for telephony.

-An iPhone app that sends music from my iPhone into La Fonera over WiFi so La Fonera sends it to my audio system (that has WiFi receiver). In general, I feel that what the iPhone and iPod Touch should do is allow me to walk into my home and send music to my stereo.

-A Facebook app (for this La Fonera needs to have a speaker) that would work like this: you would go into the Facebook app and program your Fonera to make funny noises when your friends poke you, to read you your timeline, to read you your messages and anything else you would like it to say. Ideally this Fonera would be a special purpose product that looks like your FRIEND in Facebook, like a robot that tells you all these things, that moves when you are poked, etc.

-An interface with Rapidshare and Megaupload, two extremely popular file exchange sites (again, with all the caveats of this being legal).

-A simple app that turns La Fonera into an alarm clock that wakes up up in the morning, or a more complicated app that is connected to the Google Calendar and makes La Fonera remind you of things to do.

-The famous FATERA, a scale with WiFi connected to La Fonera that posts your weight every morning to groups that are trying to lose weight, sort of AA but for losing weight and at home. Similarly you could have breathalyzers for people actually on AA so others can know if you drank. Again social pressure to lose weight or stop drinking.

-Sensors that can be attached to La Fonera so you can be warned of temperature changes in your home or fire or simply make temperature graphs of your home. These sensors would have to be away enough from La Fonera so its temperature does not affect them.

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Mike Sax on April 15, 2008  · 

Martin, you are the Steve Jobs of Fon, which means that it is your job to keep everyone focused on building the simplest possible product that accomplishes Fon’s mission to safely share resources so they become widely available. Anything outside that mission makes Fon weaker, not stronger.

3.0 rating

Wireless USB Blog on April 15, 2008  · 

Implementing Wireless USB into the La Fonera 2.0 is a good idea. WUSB Blog is a good source for news and information about Wireless USB. Stay up-to-date with the WUSB developers scene by subscribing via RSS Feed.

3.0 rating

Dave Burstein on April 16, 2008  · 

All good, but I think it worth bringing into the discussion something else. I’m sure the below are things you’ve thought about, but I was surprised not to see hardware expandability and openness at the top of your list so thought to add this note. Source code is great, but other tasks may need more.

Verizon needs to beat cable, so they are looking at ways to make their systems more open. They tell me they are working hard on an “open” set top box, that would specifically allow people to watch “all the video from the web” as well as whatever TV service Verizon sells. They will lose some TV subscribers, but Seidenberg’s direct answer to that was “We make our money on voice and data, and need to get cable out of the home.” I think we’d agree it’s the right move, especially because cablecos are much less willing to lose video customers. Verizon is not the video incumbent, so it’s easier to take that chance.

So my inclination would be to top this list with the opportunity for users to do things you haven’t programmed for them. Besides the attraction of being open and potentially getting great apps, you may save the cost of one day providing Fonera 3.0 to many people because they’ve upgraded themselves. I would begin that by making the system easy to upgrade. You’re doing some of that with the USB, which would allow me to my 750 gig media hard drive or whatever the standard is in three years.

I’d suggest designing from the beginning as much flexibility as possible. That almost surely means more i/o, starting with the cheap addition of added USB ports. I don’t know if adding an expansion slot is too expensive, but I’d love one, as well as a processor socketed or on a card so that I could change it. To hit consumer price points, you’ll almost certainly have to compromise on processor power. It would be great to add more when it’s cheaper. You noted Modu, and you certainly could include some of that functionality, starting with covers to match mode or decor. (How many colors for the iPod?)

It’s hard for me to figure the cost effective means to extend the bus, but that would be great. Otherwise at least figure how to use the USB, etc to add a simple set top, femtocell, etc. Not that many people actually upgrade, but my experience selling computers is people always like to think they will. In all of this, you’re taking advantage of being a relatively new entrant without services to protect.

Even at Verizon, with Seidenberg making grand pronouncements at the top, those basic ideas often fall away. They told me these things a years ago, but I haven’t seen results yet. The divisional people, especially those whose job is to sell their own video, let the innovations get sidetracked.

I just got my hands on the OLPC, which is a truly original design. Leaps like that are hard to achieve, but I’d better creating a more flexible unit will do more for you than tweaking existing ones.

Just some thoughts, but I believe you are teh kind of person eho can make the leap to something extraordinary.

Dave Burstein

3.0 rating

mj on April 16, 2008  · 

The Fonera Version 2 should be the product to attract the Fonero Version 2

What’s that ? My Mum, she’s a Fonero 2.0

I’m one of the folk who enthuse about FON, who run multiple Fonspots in all my houses and offices, but I’m just the 1.0 (beta),. But I’ve no patience. it’s tricky to build a long term business on geeks.

Fonera V 2.0 should tackle all the reason why the cafe owner on the corner isn’t a Fonero. Is it the design of the box – what things would she like. A longer power cable maybe ? A sticky antenna for her window that looks like a flower pot ? I wish I knew.

Fonera 2.0 should appeal to the guy who runs the the local bar, and the gas station. Probably they also need a marketing or ‘fonera café in a box’ program that gets them started. A Fonera get Fonera campaign or three. A MLM scheme. Maybe they need Jamendo in the box so they don’t have to pay the collecting societies for the music

I can’t see that adding Linux-downloader-auto-pilot-GPS-tracker-Citationfnder-ebay-lister-burglar-alarm to the Fonera will get the world more Foneros.

Just the same way as adding cameras and mp3 players to mobile phones has been a lot of fun, and grown a whole set of extra applications, but it hasn’t increased the mobile phone penetration at all.

We need to get millions more people to be Foneros. Only then will FON deliver on the basic proposition of free wifi everywhere.

Fonera 1.0’s , I’m sorry, but we should be proud to be a blip in the history of FON.

We need the FonerO 2.0 not the FonerA 2.0

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on April 16, 2008  · 


I read this and I realized that I failed to explain how the Fonera would do many of these things.

Do you know

The idea is that the Fonera will have a web page in which you drag and drop apps like in Netvibes you do widgets.

Pedro on April 16, 2008  · 

Martin, if La Fonera 2.0 has capactity to run a bittorrent, then it should first run a VPN server instead. Customers can then choose to log into Fon hotspots through the usual web portal, or optionally log in with a compatible or Fon-branded VPN client. This will protect the customer’s signal from sniffing, and make Fon hotspots more attractive than others in the same area.
Fon should stay focused on wifi, and not wander off into gimmick territory.
La Fonera’s USB port offers many interesting possibilities, but do not neglect to bring older models up to date. La Fonera Plus could still be a bittorrent client if you replace the thumb drive with a Samba share.
I have observed a number of details which have never been resolved, in favor of the push to bring another piece of merchandise to market.

3.0 rating

Liquid on April 17, 2008  · 

What about IPV6 support in Fonera 2.0? Or IPV6 tunel by or ?

3.0 rating

Sergio Fogel on April 17, 2008  · 

Here is the killer app in my view: I have 1.5 mega. You have 1.5 mega. We join forces, so we have (almost) 3 mega for both of us. I borrow yours when I need it, you borrow mine when you need it. If we are 4 or 5 in the neighborhood, we can have very significant BW. It is doable. Please contact me offline if interested.

3.0 rating

Giacomo on April 17, 2008  · 

Instead of creating a coffee machine 🙂 why don’t you developed a “small server” into the fonera 2.0. Not a Bittorent client but a web server (maybe with Apache, Mysql, etc.) so every one can create a personal web site without paying a host service, only using his DSL connection and
Also foneros will bring their fonera up because if it is switched off no one can visit their web site.

3.0 rating

Jordi - FON on April 21, 2008  · 

Liquid, the truth is that IPv6 adoption is advancing pretty slowly from what we all desire, but I agree this could be something very interesting for the future. Some very advanced ISPs like NTT in Japan are now starting to provide IPv6 only services.
Jordi – FON

3.0 rating

Jordi - FON on April 21, 2008  · 

Pedro, Samba is a great solution for fast processor boards but it really takes a lots of resources on small processor based equipment like routers. With a USB you will agree there is great flexibility because you can connect any type of USB device and bring it with you and connect it back to the Fonera once you get home. The USB really gives unprecedented possibilities not just for storage but for thousands of devices that already many other super creative Foneros are posting here and we did not even thought about.
Jordi – FON

3.0 rating

Jack on April 22, 2008  · 

Use a parallel flash chip, the serial flash on the La Fonera is WAY!! too slow.

3.0 rating

wout on April 23, 2008  · 

All the ideas Martin mentionned, are also ideas I allready thought about, and dreamed about!

It would be superb if you can install printers, external HD an usb flash sticks !!!
But it would have a decent speed. I have now a SMC 7908 with USB2.0 and it is really slow.
It reads at a maximum speed of 650kbyte/s and writing is even slower.

3.0 rating

ocsi on April 24, 2008  · 

Hi! I It would be great, if “bill system” would work on the LAN interface too… I have a small guest house, and i would be happy, if the guests pay for the net…~30 USD/month would cover my internet costs… I do not need Private network, but i think, it would be great, if 15 minutes users would use (a slower) FON_AP network, and peoples, who payed (and bills, linuses) would would use the faster, Private network… I do not use my own internet acces at the guest house, so it is not importatnt for me, to have a secure network there… Even if i would need one, i would use a other, 4 port router, or 5, or 8 port switch+AP… I hope, you understand what i am speaking about… 🙂

3.0 rating

Andrew Jorgensen on April 24, 2008  · 

I’ve posted some of my own ideas on my blog. Here are the ones that I really think should happen:

Drivers for USB DSL and Cable modems – some of the cheaper ones don’t have ethernet

Barcode reader to register guest logins at a café, etc

Internet radio – USB soundcard and a web interface to choose the station

3.0 rating

fonero on June 29, 2008  · 

well, June is over now – but: have a look around…. where is the promised “La Fonera 2.0”. Am I blinded, I cannot see her …. so why do you make promises that cannot be fullfiled …. poor… very poor . tell us Martin!

3.0 rating

Jordi - FON on June 30, 2008  · 

Fonero, we have had an issue with the driver/board for Fonera 2.0 that prevents USB 1.1 devices from working on the Fonera 2.0; only USB 2.0 compliant devices work perfectly. Knowing that most Printers are 1.1 we have decided not to release the final commercial version of Fonera 2.0 until the issue is solved. As an update letting you know that besides the different communities already working on the Foneras 2.0 Developer Edition helping us a lot, we have NEC engineers (The USB chipset we use on Fonera 2.0), Atheros engineers (RF AR2315 chipset) and DNI engineers in China (Manufacturer) working together on this issue for about a month now. We will keep updating to see how fast can we finally solve this issue and get the Foneras 2.0 to all of you guys.
Jordi – FON

3.0 rating

martin on April 24, 2009  · 

Hey Martin

I do like your ideas for La Fonera 2.0 and I’ve already orderd one. However, I miss an app that let’s me connect a normal USB Skype phone to La Fonera and take calls (with skype-in and skype-out). I know that one could already do this with the expensive wireless Skype phones, but I guess this would be a rather simple app that could save us some money.


3.0 rating

Paul Janssen on May 18, 2009  · 

It would be great if there was an App for the Android OS (like the Google G1, making it possible to monitor and/or operate the functions of the Fonera2.0.

3.0 rating

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