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2 FEATURE REQUESTS: RTC Support & Mobile Hotspot Replacement

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by yobigd20, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Before I begin, worth noting that I am a software engineer specializing in compressed media systems and real time connectivity. That being said, there are several features I'd like to see supported in the Model S with regards to the mobile connectivity and browser. I know some of these feature have been discussed before, but probably not in the context that I am suggesting. Here me out:


    1st Feature: Mobile Hotspot Support (as a *replacement* for the 3G service)


    We all know the Model S has an always-on 3G connection. From what I read this is through AT&T. Right now Tesla is footing the bill, so none of us know what this is actually going to cost. We also know theres rumors that it may or may not have the capability of going to 4G LTE (I think there is not support for this right now, e.g. no chip, but they may not want to say that publicly as they may provide an update in the future.


    That being said, My 4G LTE hotspot is $50/month (note: this is before Verizon switched to the "add another device to your plan for $$ cost structure). This is just a hotspot - data .. Not voice. I sort of expect the monthly cost, when we have to start paying for it, may be similar - perhaps $30/40 a month.


    Originally I though it would be cool to just pair with your phone, and use that as it's connecivity. But the problem with that is when you leave the car - it has no connectivity (therefore can use mobile apps to talk to the car, etc).


    What I am suggesting with this feature request is to support pairing with a mobile hotspot, which can just be left in the car plugged in (side note: does the model S have a built-in invertor (to outlet) anywhere?, if not I hope it can be charged through USB). So now that providers have switched from the $50/month for mobile hotspot, to the "add another device, e.g. mobile hotspot, to your existing wireless plan for $10/month", I think a good feature would be to support this. Then we can get rid of the AT&T 3G connection (which is slow…) and use whatever we have to both 1) save money and 2) much faster connectivity.


    2nd Feature: RTC (real time communication) support, e.g. voice calls over the data service plan to any mobile/landline


    So if the connectivity is data only - no voice - there is another option for "making phone calls" directly from the vehicle. From what I can tell, the browser is Safari running on linux (right?). Support for WebRTC http://www.webrtc.org/ is currently being developed into this browser (already supported in Firefox and Chrome). What this means is that if the browser in the car can support this, and it can tie into the car's microphone and speakers for devices, we can build web applications, (or Tesla can build native apps right into their console), that support VOIP calls, including integration with services that translate and go out over the PSTN network (thus we can dial anyone we want - mobile phones, land lines, etc). There are plenty of ways of doing this. Here are a few examples already supporting WebRTC and SIP/PSTN integration:

    http://www.tokbox.com/opentok/api
    http://phono.com/webrtc
    https://www.plivo.com/
    https://labs.ericsson.com/blog/webrtc-interworking-with-traditional-telephony-services
    http://www.thrupoint.com/solutions/webrtc-sip.html


    So in the end, with both of these features, we can have a cheaper always-on mobile connectivity, faster service, and the capability of making and receiving phone calls directly using the console (whether it be through a web app or, if the Tesla engineers like this, native support built-right into their app).
     
  2. Desai

    Desai Member

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    #1: I have read Tesla plans to replace (or add) 4G radio later on. It already has WiFi capabilities (just not enabled) that can be used in your feature request of using a hotspot that is dedicated to the car instead of the built-in 3G (or future 4G) radio.
     
  3. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I highly doubt it will cost near that much. I am expecting $15-25 per month. With a data cap of some sort. But I believe everyone is expecting this functionality. And Tesla has publicly said 'tether' but has been ambiguous about which way that will work.


    Your car will always have connectivity. Your purchase agreement basically says this. If you get a connectivity package, Tesla will use some of your data for the car to report back. If you cancel your data package you are supposed to notify Tesla, and they will implement their own connectivity package. What you won't get is Google Maps, Internet, Internet Radio, and the like. I fully expect your mobile app to work with/through Tesla's diagnostic connectivity.


    W
    This should be easily doable. I believe that the USB ports are powered even when the car is off. So not a problem there. And Tesla has said many times about WiFi being in the car and connecting your car to your home network. So I see no problems


    I really don't see the need for a VOIP app when you are going to have a cell phone in the car with you. Bluetooth works really well. But when/if they open up a SDK I bet someone makes a VOIP app if they have access to speakers, and mic in the car.
     
  4. Sousaphil

    Sousaphil P2,595

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    I specifically asked my DS about LTE. He told me the chipset was included, they just haven't enabled it in the software because "coverage for LTE wasn't widespread enough". Frankly I don't buy that reason. I think it probably has to do with developing good software to detect and switch between 3G and LTE seamlessly. Just a hunch.
     
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    A tiny bit off-topic: I just added a Verizon LTE Jetpack to my family plan, cost is $20/month but the change reset my plan to save me $50/month so I'm net $30/month better off. If I use my Jetpack as a WiFi hotspot for my car I can increase the plan by 2GB/month (which should be plenty enough!) for $10/month.

    On topic:

    Verizon told me that tethering other devices to my iPhone on an ongoing basis would "fry the phone". Don't know if that's true but the change they recommended (the Jetpack) actually costs me less so I've no reason to disbelieve them. Any engineers out there know whether prolonged tethering to a phone will damage it?
     
  6. rlawson4

    rlawson4 Member

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    Nonsense. I tether every day.
     
  7. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    that is a complete BS line to try and get you to buy a hotspot and add it to your plan. dirty tactic. if tethering was damaging the phone the whole world would be down apple's throat. I tether at least 3 hours every weekday M-F on train. No problemo.
     
  8. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I'll take your word for it. The Verizon guy was maybe trying to sound knowledgeable but in the end the hotspot was free and it reduced my plan cost but gave me more monthly capacity. If it was an attempted dirty trick, it backfired on them.
     
  9. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I'll pile on also. Not going to hurt your phone at all. It will kill you battery if you aren't plugged in though.
     
  10. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    my iphone5 doesn't last more than 12 hours even when I don't tether. it was like this brand new on day 1. same for my wife's phone so I know its probably like that for all iphone5's. great phone. worst battery I've ever seen though. even 1st gen iphone lasted 5 times longer than the iphone5. I guess the '5' in 'iphone5' stands for "I'm so powerful i'll drain your battery 5 times faster'". They've made so many technical advances except for battery life. I carry a charger now every where I go. Sucks but oh well gotta do it to keep up the status quo ;)
     
  11. aaronw

    aaronw Member

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    From what I can tell the browser is actually the one built into the QT toolkit. It is based on Webkit but it is not Safari. Qt does not have RTP support in it yet as far as I know.
     
  12. mulder1231

    mulder1231 Active Member

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    Not so sure about the 2GB per monthy being plenty. Average 2 hours of high quality (192kbps) Internet radio streaming per day alone already adds up to about 5GB/month. Driving around with the Google maps on in satellite view and centered on current location could double that.
     
  13. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    To my recollection, this is the first time a Tesla representative had said anything close to "LTE is already on board in the Model S." Or am I behind on this news?
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    First time I've heard it too. Either the Rep is misinformed or they just started putting in LTE chipsets.
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Optimist: Or they just started disclosing that they've always put them in.
     

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