Openmoko Frees the Mobile Phone

neo_1.jpgOpen mobile computing platform developer Openmoko has unveiled a new mobile device that it claims will “help to enable ubiquitous computing for the 21st century.”

The $399 Openmoko Neo FreeRunner phone features a 2.8-inch touch-screen, Wi-Fi, motion sensors and Bluetooth. It comes with core software for dialing, SMS and recording contacts.

Openmoko intends to periodically add features, starting next month with a software suite that takes advantage of the phone’s hardware platform to provide new location-based applications. Two versions of the phone will be available, 850 MHz or 900 MHz Tri-band GSM, to match frequencies in different countries.

What makes this more than just another new phone announcement is the Openmoko platform, which lets developers in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community create unique versions of the FreeRunner phone, modifying not only the way the phone works, but also how it looks. CAD files are publicly available for designers wanting to tailor the FreeRunner’s look and feel.

The phone will be available in the EU, North America and India.