RePhone: World’s first open source modular phone you can build like you want
If there is a device we have been waiting anxiously for, it has to be Google’s Project Ara – an attempt at a modular smartphone; sadly, Google is only delaying it forever it seems. To assure a modular phone is possible – Seeed has launched Kickstarter campaign for world’s first open source modular phone kit dubbed RePhone. RePhone comprises set of tools and components that can be assembled to remake or redesign your own mobile phone to make and receive calls, send SMS, snap pictures and play music.
Basically then, RePhone, when launched, will give us the facility to redesign our phone to be anything we want it to be – good bye you bulky rectangular piece of smartness in my hand.
Putting together easy to assemble slim modules, handy software and customizable phone enclosure, you can create your own phone in minutes (depending on how good you are with fixing things).
To get into details – RePhone is available in three kits. First comprises RePhone with a GSM + BLE module as the core, the second has a core 3G module without BLE support. Third is basically an extension of the phone – called RePhone kit Create, this allows you to uses paper craft to build custom case for the RePhone in shape and size you want.
Using GSM + BLE module or 3G module with world’s smallest System-on-Chip (SOC) at the core you can give the RePhone life by adding a 1.54-inch touch screen, a 5×7 LED board, GPS, NFC, an audio board, motion sensor, GSM breakout board and Arduino-compatible microcontroller. Seeed is soon going to add single eye display and camera modules to the list.
Simply connect the different modules using flexible FPC cable strips (you can also solder or use conductive thread). Once connected, the RePhone can be used normally like a phone to send messages, make, receive calls or even listen to some music.
Like we informed earlier, you can make your own paper craft case for the RePhone – the phone kit comes with Kraft paper that can be molded into shape of choice. Being washproof, easy to cut and sewable, you can use it to make a phone unique to you. You can also build 3D printed, bamboo or even leather case for the RePhone.
Owning to ultra-compact size and ultra-modern ability, the RePhone has limitless DIY possibilities. It’s ideal for wearables and Internet of Things. Given the fact that it includes GSM, GPRS and Bluetooth, it can be used to keep track of elders and pets at home, or even to control your lawn more remotely. Basically put – just fasten the RePhone to anything you want turned into a phone.
Seeed RePhone, also compatible with Pebble Time, is hoping to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter. It has already raised $46,206 (at the time of writing) with 36 days still to go. If you want piece of the world’s first open source modular phone by February 2016, show some love, pledge $12 or more.