The founder of Pebble is back with a hacky new tinker toy called the ‘Beepberry,’ which should entice any tinkerers fond of the classic BlackBerry keyboard.
The Beepberry is effectively a BlackBerry Classic keyboard attached to a custom board design to fit a Raspberry Pi Zero W (or another single-board computer chip of your preference). It pairs that with a 400 x 240 pixel ‘Memory LCD’ display from Sharp.
Although the Beepberry is primarily intended for use with Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky’s latest venture, Beeper, it can effectively do anything you want since it relies on a Raspberry Pi (assuming you’re willing to put in the legwork).
Beeper, for those unfamiliar, is a messaging platform that aims to make several messaging services available in one space, including WhatsApp, Telegram and even iMessage, with some workarounds.
If you want something for more than just messaging, the Beepberry website offers up some ideas for how else you could make use of the device. There’s a weather checker, or you could even play Ascii Star Wars.
The Beepberry also comes with a 2,000mAh battery that you need to figure out how to attach — some of the videos on the Beepberry site show it being held in place with elastic bands. It also has a USB-C port, RGB LED, a side button, a power switch and General Purpose Input / Output (GPIO) breakouts. It can connect to Wi-Fi via the Raspberry Pi, but there’s no cellular unless you’re willing to devise your own way to connect it.
The Beepberry comes in two flavours: Pi, or no Pi. For $79 USD (about $106.71 CAD) you can get the Beepberry without a Raspberry Pi, or you can pay $99 USD ($133.73 CAD) for a Beepberry with a Raspberry Pi. However, there are only 50 available initially and the Beepberry website doesn’t indicate how many remain available for purchase.
Customers can also download software and firmware for the device online, find 3D-printable enclosures and more.
Header image credit: Beepberry