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MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone

Posted: , by Charlene S.

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MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
You consider yourself a do-it-yourselfer. You change your own oil, paint your own house, build your own computers, but have you ever considered building your own cellphone? Thanks to researchers at MIT, now you can.

The DIY phone uses open-source designs for both the phone’s circuit board and case. Currently it only supports voice calls, but MIT noted that SMS and other features could be added while still using the same hardware. The prototype uses a custom circuit board inside a laser-cut plywood and veneer case. The parts for all of this run about $150.

So what about the specs? MIT said, “The phone accepts a standard SIM card and works with any GSM provider. Cellular connectivity is provided by the SM5100B GSM Module, available from SparkFun Electronics. The display is a color 1.8″, 160×128 pixel, TFT screen on a breakout board from Adafruit Industries.” We also noticed that in the photos, the screen reads "Number please" when its ready to be used. How polite!

As far as design, we must say, it’s no touchscreen, high-end smartphone, but it looks pretty cool. Apparently the holes you see around each number allow the veneer to flex enough to press the button underneath.

MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone
MIT researchers create do-it-yourself mobile phone


Oddly enough there was no mention of our DIY smartphone. As you may remember back on April 1st, we here at PhoneArena showed you how to make your own smartphone complete with analogue, pen and paper driven Angry Birds!

In all seriousness though, this is a very neat project that makes a DIY mobile phone a realistic and obtainable goal.

“(W)e hope to encourage a proliferation of personalized and diverse mobile phones. Freed from the constraints of mass production, we plan to explore diverse materials, shapes, and functions. We hope that the project will help us explore and expand the limits of do-it-yourself (DIY) practice,” MIT said.

source: MIT via GMA News

3 Comments
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posted on 19 May 2012, 10:59

1. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5482; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Old "news", but anyway good to see. :)

posted on 19 May 2012, 12:14

2. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


:( Why can't GSM modules be cheaper...?

posted on 19 May 2012, 14:17 2

3. JGuinan007 (Posts: 634; Member since: 19 May 2011)


This is awesome if mobile phones became like PCs, you could upgrade memory, install new video card, don't like a 3.5 display upgrade to a 5in change out your 3meg camera and install a new 20meg one, 1800mhz battery not enough for you change it to a 50000mhz. I would love for this to take off I'll buy 5

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