Make your own internet of things with this modular phone kit

Ever wanted to have your phone built into something else entirely? With RePhone you can do just that. RePhone gives you the basic innards of that fancy phone in a series of modules, the software to control them, and enclosures to hold them. The kits are up on Kickstarter right now. The RePhone team asked for $50,000, and they’ve already gotten over $104,000.

The idea is to provide you with the technological guts to give phone-like powers to whatever you want. You could make a mini phone with the premade kit, or a hat phone with a fitted cap someone left lying around your apartment, instead of sticking with a familiar form factor.

The RePhone Core GSM + BLE with nano sim module is about the size of a stamp, and other modules can be attached using tiny NFC strips. With the 1.54 inch TFT touch screen, audio and GPS module, you can turn pretty much any object into a phone.

RePhone, modular phone, open source, kit

The core module’s communication protocols are broad, including Bluetooth 4.0 and 2.1 dual mode. The 3G Core module comes with a standard Xadow interface for USB, audio interface support, Nano Sim, a button, LED and antenna, and a GPRS EDGE 850/1900 (which means it should work with AT&T and T-Mobile).

RePhone offers several options: The basic kit, which is just the Core module with GSM+BLE; the Core Module 3G; the Geo kit with a Core GSM+BLE module, Xadow GPS v2, and Xadow GSM Breakout; the Lumi kit with a Core, a Xadow Dunio and a Xadow GSM Breakout; the Create kit, which comes with a Core and audio module, and a touchscreen. There are other modules available to further expand RePhone capabilities, like a Xadow dunio, basic sensors, a 520mAh battery, and 11 and 35 Pin FPC cables.

Of course, to get the most out of this, there is a full SDK that uses Eclipse IDE for C++ developers. For those still learning, the RePhone team built Arduino IDE, Lua and JavaScript libraries.

RePhone, modular phone, open source, kit

If you want to use RePhone in something like the shape of a traditional phone, there’s the Kraft paper enclosure. Fold it on the lines, and it assembles into a holder that leaves you with a phone that fits in the palm of your hand. It’s easy to decorate and if you draw on it or cover it with stickers you won’t feel like you’ve permanently defaced a $600 purchase.

Phones are just the beginning, though. With the GPS and Core  modules, you can make your own location trackers and security devices. Add a light and temp sensor, and you could make a weather alarm instead. Imagination and patience (and an Internet connection for instructions) are the only limitations with RePhone. The modular phone is more than just a phone, and seems like a good prototyping option.

If you’ve always wanted to make your own Internet of things, there are plenty of backer options based on how much building you want to do. You can grab a RePhone Core GSM+BLE module for only $12, $7 off retail. $29 gets you the Core 3G module (saving $10 on the retail price), and $39 gets you a RePhone Geo or Lumi kit, set to retail for $59. A full RePhone Kit Create goes for a $45 campaign donation instead of $59 retail.

The RePhone Extension Pack comes with all the next-level stuff: Xadow GPS, NFC, LED5x7, Duino, GSM Breakout, the Battery and the two cables, for $59 instead of $79 retail. There’s even a kit for Pebble with an adapter, GPS, NFC, a battery and structural support. $109 gets you the Kit Create, the Extension Pack, and a basic Core module.

The kits with more modules have extended delivery times , especially the 3G modules, which are set to deliver April 2016. The super early bird Core rewards are set to go out as soon as the campaign ends on October  29.

Mobile

Sidestep banking fees with the nationwide launch of T-Mobile Money

T-Mobile has launched its Money banking service nationwide in the U.S., and it offers an extremely tempting set of features for everyone, including industry-leading interest rates, a powerful app, and no banking fees.
Trash

Smash your carrier shackles with the best unlocked phones

If you want the freedom to switch carriers at will or you prefer to get your phone directly from the company that makes it, you'll want to buy an unlocked smartphone. These are the best unlocked phones you can buy in the U.S.
Mobile

The black satin Razer Phone 2 is now available for $500

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for April 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for April 2019.
Gaming

Have an issue with your 3DS? We can help you fix it with these common solutions

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.
Mobile

Big, beautiful, and breakable: Check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases

There’s no denying Samsung’s ability to turn out an attractive smartphone, but glass curves are expensive to fix and metal chips easily. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases on the market.
Mobile

Selfies are now banned at China’s gigantic Aperture Spherical Telescope

You can't take a selfie with the world's largest single-dish radio telescope anymore, as the Chinese government has banned everything from smartphones to digital cameras in the surrounding 5-kilometer area.
Mobile

The OnePlus 3 & 3T both receive an open beta for Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Charge and sync with the best Lightning cables for your iPhone or iPad

If you’re looking to replace a lightning cable, or in need of something a little longer or tougher, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 of our favorite cables for the iPhone and other iOS devices.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for April 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Android

The dramatic BlackBerry Key2 Red Edition is now available in the U.S.

BlackBerry's Key2 is likely to be the best keyboard-equipped phone in 2019, with a modern look, some powerful specs, and totally revamped features. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.
Mobile

The Best iPhone 7 battery cases to give your phone some extra juice

The iPhone 7 doesn't have terrible battery life, but you never know when you'll need to juice up on the go. To help, here are the best iPhone 7 battery cases that can keep your smartphone charged and ready for long-term use.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Samsung Galaxy Fold woes, zombie pigs, and more

Today's topics: Samsung Galaxy Fold, Facebook A.I. voice assistants, YouTube comes to Fire TV, facial recognition on airline flights, the SpaceX DART program, Yale's zombie pigs, and much more!