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The Light Phone 2

System architecture and product development for an independent telecom company.

Tech Stack:

  • Elixir Phoenix
  • React
  • Ember.js
  • Serverless
  • Kubernetes
  • AOSP

Sanctuary Computer worked with The Light Phone team to bring their second handset to market. That handset was named one of Time Magazine's best inventions of 2019.

Project Overview:

  1. 1.

    Software planning and architecture for a custom operating system, eCommerce infrastructure, user-facing dashboard and cloud API.

  2. 2.

    Oversight and API integration with a telecom MVNO to ensure successful SIM card activations, handset sales and customer support.

  3. 3.

    Working with a Taiwanese manufacturer and Boston-based product designer Pragmatc, we co-ordinated all teams to go-to-market successfully.

A custom smartphone OS

The LightOS is minimalist smartphone operating system, designed to be used as little as possible. Running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon with a custom rendering pipeline to power a beautiful EInk screen — the LightOS is based on Android, and supports all mainstream smartphone functionalities such as Bluetooth, Wifi, Contact Sync and more.

Read “Building LightOS with React Native”

A beautiful eCommerce Site

To support sales of handsets, SIM cards, and cases, we built a custom eCommerce experience. It was necessary that users create LightOS accounts during checkout, so that their device IMEI could be associated at the time of shipping. The eCommerce site also handles service availability, feature breakdowns, and customer support.

Buy a Light Phone here

A user-facing dashboard

With a 2.84" screen, on-device configuration is kept to a minimum. For deeper configuration, we shipped a real-time, user facing dashboard to allow contact uploads, service plan configuration, and tool store configurations in an easy to use web UI.

From prototype to product

Working in tandem with a Pragmatc and The Light Phone team, Sanctuary Computer managed and oversaw the collaboration with our Taiwanese OEM, Arima - from working against development boards, to shipping the final factory image for mass production, we were hands on for the entire process.

The Light Phone 2 started shipping in Q3 2019, and has since been featured in The Verge, GQ, Wired, The New York Times, Business Insider, Engadet, Techcrunch and many others.