Mobile phones are an integral part of the lives of many among us. They allow us to be in touch with friends and relatives at the press of a button, keep up with the latest news, interact with fellow internauts on social media and even play games! But the concept of making one's own phone has remained alien to many. Albert Gajšak, founder of CircuitMess the startup company behind the DIY handheld console MAKERbuino, wants you to think differently. Enter the MAKERphone.
The MAKERphone is an educational tool aimed at "turning consumers into creators". Once assembled by the DIY enthusiast, the latter will be in possession of a fully functional mobile phone. Sure this phone won't replace the latest iPhone or Android device. But that's not the point. As an educational device, the adventure does not end after the assembly. After building the MAKERphone and learning about electronics in the process, the DIYer can further learn to code apps for the phone via the company's official guide. MAKERphone supports programming languages Python, Adruino and Scratch that enables the device to play games like space invaders, pong, snake and even apps like a custom media player that "only plays cat videos". Moreover, custom cases can be designed and 3D printed to style the MAKERphone with your personal touch. If the MAKERbuino that I recently reviewed is any indication, the MAKERphone promises to offer an experience unlike any other.
With an estimated build time of 7 hours, Circuit Mess estimates that 11-year-old kid should be able to assemble their own MAKERphone with a tiny bit of help from an adult.
The startup has made some improvements on the electronics side since the MAKERbuino and some notable specs of the MAKERphone as compared to their previous project are as follows:
- A color screen
- Better microcontroller with their custom software
- Dedicated DAC and electronic volume controller for sound regulation and mp3 playback
- 8 individually programmable RGB LEDs for a lightshow in your palms
- Better PCB architecture for easier soldering
- SIM card support
- Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- RTC (real time clock)
- 128MB SD card preinstalled with dozens of useful applications, tools and games.
CircuitMess has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to turn their MAKERphone project into reality. At the time of writing, the campaign has raised nearly $14,000 of its $15,000 goal. With 43 days remaining, they are well on their way to reach their goal and maybe even some stretch goals. Interested? Check out the Kickstarter campaign below where an early bird pledge of $89 can reward you with a base kit.
If you want to have an idea as to what to expect with CircuitMess' DIY projects, check out our official review of the MAKERbuino linked below.
MAKERphone Kickstarter campaign
MAKERbuino Official GBAtemp Review