28 January 2007, 18:24 by mark hoekstra


click to view the full-size version

iNoPhone combines two products – a former Apple mouse and a bluetooth headset into one small and lightweight handheld device. iNoPhone uses a proven user interface based on one button, letting you control your calls with just one finger. So it ushers in an era of sophistication never before seen in a bluetooth device, completely redefining what you can do with your current phone.

  • OneButton Call Management
  • Breakthrough Bluetooth Device
  • Proven iNo Technology

about iNo

A loooong time ago, I made the iNo, a project I made after I saw a Stevenote where he introduced the iPod shuffle and the Mac Mini. Now I already had an idea of putting the guts of some MP3-player into an old ADB-mouse, because somehow the old mouse resembled the looks of an iPod. But when Apple introduced an iPod without a screen, I somehow felt a rush and changed my plans overnight into the iNo. I thought “I can go even more minimalistic than an iPod without a screen… How about an iPod without an MP3-player as well?” *^_^*

the original iNo

I never ever imagined that the iNo would take off in such a way, actually it took two months before it was discovered and I only found out three days later when I checked my stats and couldn’t believe what I saw. 50,000+ visitors and at that time I hosted my humble little site on a very humble 180MHz SGI Challenge S. The little machine held this traffic perfectly, partly because it was a very light, static HTML-page (the original page can be found here), but also because this little Challenge still is a brilliant little machine.

about iPhone

Well, of course, there wouldn’t have been an iNoPhone without the iPhone. But even though I hardly could believe the thing when I saw the keynote speech, now, a couple of weeks later, I’m not so sure if I even would want one. Now of course, it hasn’t come to market quite yet, so a definitive decision will be made when it’s out there. Any way, first of all, $499 is a heck of a lot of money for a phone. For instance, I just bought a second hand G4 12” powerbook for not much more than the $499 and no need to have some 2-year contract with whoever as well, now think about that for a second. When I’m on the road, I can be a lot more productive on my second-hand roadwarrior than on this iPhone, revolutionary touch-screen or not…

But, the biggest downer on this iPhone at this point imho is the fact that it seems to become a totally closed-down device. No third-party apps(!!!) and I can only stand in line with the OS X developers asking politely to open the thing up. I mean, they want you to pay top-dollar for this device and letting you have no control whatsoever on the said device… Now there’s some mutual trust.

Any way, why would Apple care? They only want 1% marketshare (which is 10 million phones) so me and several others will probably be the whiners on this and they’re gonna get that marketshare easily. Well, I can only feel sad Apple is taking this course, I’m an open source guy and when they start to close things down even further, it’s an end of story for me for sure. At this moment I use OS X and Ubuntu on a 50/50 basis… guess which way it’s going if Apple has some more tricks up its sleeve? Ubuntu runs just fine on most of the Apple hardware I own (all but the very old gear) (and I mean, in my personal case, not marketwise or such, I really wouldn’t have a clue about that). And also don’t forget Apple changed its name from Apple Computer, Inc. into Apple, Inc., whatever that’s going to mean in the future…

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it’s all about the details, to be able to get a speaker into the iNoPhone and also be able to hear it, I had to drill through the casing… and seriously, I had no other choice than to drill away the word ‘computer’ *^_^*

But, let’s first wait what the actual device will be when it will actually hit the market and let’s wait what future versions will bring, Apple is new to phones and maybe they change their mind when they’re up to a bigger marketshare than the first one percent.

Any way, I actually waited to see what Apple would bring this time. For a while I’m entitled to renew my contract with my current provider, but with things going this course, I guess I’ll go for a SIM-only contract for a year, I’m not sure if that’s a common option everywhere, where I live (The Netherlands), you can opt to keep your current phone and only get a contract. It’s the cheapest option and my current phone (a Nokia 7610) is still working fine, even though I already have it for more than two years. But still… even if the iPhone turns out to be a device me and/or you would want, it’ll be a year before it even hits Europe… but, if you just want to have an Apple-branded product in your pocket to handle your calls, there’s no need to wait a couple of months, spend $499 and sign a 2-year contract… Not at all, cause now there’s iNoPhone, because youNo life still is expensive *^_^*

about iNoPhone

Now, even though iNo was a very trustworthy NoTech device, even in my minimalistic taste, going that same course for iNoPhone would be a little too minimalistic… So, this time there’s a little tech inside the Apple-mouse. I took a bluetooth headset I got a while ago, a Plantronics 510 and put that inside the enclosure. Normally, I would write up a how-to but to be honest, I can’t suggest to use this Plantronics headset for this. It’s a total b*tch to open up, it’s all rubber and glue and in no way it’s designed to be serviced or opened up, not by themselves as well… So if you want a siimilar device as this iNoPhone, I suggest you take a headset which opens up a little easier than this one, cause the chance you damage the contents is of this Plantronics while opening up is huge. I myself am very surprised I could get it to work after I disassembled the thing.

So, instead of a how-to, it’s more like a making-of, with enough pointers (I hope) for anyone wanting the same device.

the steps in making the iNoPhone

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Here’s the Plantronics 510 and my current phone.

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I inspected the device quite thoroughly but really, there’s no way in opening this headset up in a way you can go back… So then there’s only one choice and open it up in a more drastic way.

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The inside starts to become exposed…

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I was quite surprised that I seemingly hadn’t damaged it, it still worked!

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Even though I keep suggesting you take another headset for these kind of purposes, this is the pinout for the Plantronics-device. Even though bluetooth headsets keep getting smaller, there’s a lot of cables you need to solder to get all the functionality into something else.

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My power on/off button (the red one) and volume up and down.

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Some more testing…

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And building it up inside the Apple ADB-mouse.

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The control-panel on the backside of this old Apple Computer, Inc. ADB-mouse.

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Believe it or not, but I didn’t have an appropriate plug in my house for getting the device charged, so I finally decided I would use two of the three threads of the original cable… Now, I kept using the original, way too big for my taste, Plantronics-charger during the making of this device. My multi-meter tells me it’s about 5 volts this headset uses for charging, so next to making a little custom 5 volts charger for it, I could even make a USB-charging cable for the iNoPhone!

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using the iNoPhone

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After I made the device, I’m actually a little surprised it turns out to be usable… *^_^*

Once you have it paired with your mobile phone, it’s only a matter of turning the device on (by holding the on/off-button for about three seconds) and then you’re ready to go! Now it’s quite hard to explain the simplicity of such a device, so I made a little video (only 15 seconds):

On the right you see a friend’s phone, already calling my phone (the Nokia in the middle), but I pick it up and lay it down with the iNoPhone…

direct link to this video on youtube
my ringtone can be found here

Another use of the iNoPhone is voicetags. When you’re not in a call and you push the one button, my phone(and I guess every symbian-phone and other models as well) expects a voicetag. You can record and add voicetags to your contacts and in combination with the iNoPhone, you can push the one button, say the contact you want to call out loud and your phone starts dialing it.

Again, I made a little video to show it:

direct link to this video on youtube

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So, there you have it, the iNoPhone. From now on you can leave your current feature-laden but ugly-duckly smartphone in your pocket and handle your calls in an Apple way, clean looks and an intuitive user-interface… *^_^*

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credit: the girl in the pictures is Gabriël, we work together in organizing Pecha Kucha Nights in Groningen. Well, she does all the work actually, she’s an organizing miracle and even finds time to pose for my projects… ^_^ So big thanks go out to her

DIY trackback
Core77 – industrial design supersite ^_^
you can Digg it overhere
beautiful DuggTrends graph
geeksugar: geek is chic
Engadget Chinese


  1. involutaryhaxor @ 29 January 2007, 18:47 :

    Awesome! So you have more than one of those mice or do you no longer have a switch for your bike charger?

  2. markie @ 29 January 2007, 18:54 :

    Ooooh, I got several left, I guess what an Altoids tin is to some, this Mac ADB-mouse is to me :-)

  3. slashdot @ 30 January 2007, 07:01 :

    i dont get it

  4. Grafdom @ 30 January 2007, 09:37 :

    Rather impressive – professor.

  5. Crane @ 31 January 2007, 12:39 :

    Great stuff! I like the fact you did go all the way and made a working device… it does work, doesn’t it?

    Anyway, it seems that i am not the only one who is inspired by the iPhone. Listen to my track iLove iPhone on www.cranesound.com.

  6. markie @ 31 January 2007, 14:00 :

    >it does work, doesn’t it?

    yes yes, it does work :-)

  7. Topher Lin @ 1 February 2007, 03:15 :

    Haha, that was pretty neat. Kudos on taking the iNo line of products to the next level.
    I’m interested in the font you used for the images in this post. I like it a lot, and am wondering where I can procure it. Thanks!

  8. Geeksugar @ 1 February 2007, 23:33 :

    This is just plain awesome! Check out my highlight comparing your iNoPhone to the iPhone on geeksugar.
    Direct link: http://geeksugar.com/123180

  9. Jay @ 2 February 2007, 12:39 :

    May I ask wich is the font you used for the speech balloons? Thanks!

  10. markie @ 2 February 2007, 15:46 :

    The font I use is the Japanese aquafont. I’m still quite pleased that I
    found it :-)

    You can get it here:

    (but that’s all Japanese)

    this link should work however:

    and a direct link to only the .ttf

  11. Jakob Alminde @ 6 June 2007, 11:26 :

    “Yes, hello. Can you tell me where my 4.000 lattes to go are?” is pure love, I tell you.

  12. loops @ 27 June 2007, 13:49 :

    Sweet stuff and lovely report!

As mentioned in the Message from Mark's family this site has been made static. This means that it will be no longer possible to comment on his ideas and projects, but that we all can continue to cherish his creativity.

             you can find all of my projects overhere