amber It is a pocket computer designed for instant messaging. It’s also a hackable and customizable device that can be redirected to do a bunch of other things.
It features a 2.7-inch black and white LCD screen and keyboard that is part of the BlackBerry Classic smartphone. Beepberry is designed to work with a Raspberry Pi Zero W single-board computer and run software that connects to the Beeper messaging service. But you can also bring your own replica single board computer and software to make the machine your own.
Beeper is a multi-platform messaging service that allows you to use a single app to chat with users on 15 different services including WhatsApp, Slack, Google Chat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Discord, and even iMessage (if you want to leave your constantly running Apple device to act as a “bridge”) “).
Beeper is co-founded by Eric Migicovsky, who is also the founder of the ePaper smartwatch company Pebble. It’s also the driving force behind the Small Android Phone initiative. It clearly has a thing for small, versatile, and hacker-friendly tools.
To create Beepberry, he collaborated with another hackable ePaper watch designer: sqfmimaker observer smart watch.
At this point, Beepberry is more of a development kit than a product designed for end users. For $ 79, you can buy a Beepberry with a 2.7-inch display, 400 x 240 pixels, a backlit keyboard, a printed circuit board and a 2000 mAh battery.
But the development kit doesn’t include a case: you’ll have to 3D print or buy your own case. You’ll also need to provide your own microSD card for storage and install the software yourself. You will have to figure out how to install the battery in place yourself.
The starting price also does not include the computer that powers the Beepberry. You can either pay $99 for a kit that includes the Raspberry Pi Zero W or bring along a single tablet.
While the Beepberry is designed to be a portable messaging device that runs a Linux-based operating system and connects to the Beepberry service, it does not currently have any kind of cellular functionality. You can connect to the Internet via WiFi thanks to the Raspberry Pi Zero W’s wireless capabilities. But if you plan to use it in places without WiFi, you may need to bring a fully functional phone or mobile hotspot to share your Internet connection.
But according to the Beepberry blog, manufacturers are considering adding support for a 4G LTE modem, LoRA radio, or other devices by taking advantage of USB ports or GPIO pins.
And since this thing is primarily designed to work with small, low-power, Linux-compatible single-board computers, there’s nothing stopping you from using it as a portable peripheral, gaming device, or for other applications.
The Beepberry is available for purchase at the SQFMI store, though supplies are limited: Only 50 were in stock when the product was announced yesterday, and it’s unclear if there are any left. So you may have to wait for the next production run to complete before you can get your hands on one.
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