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Chatbox wireless IM client

[Utpal Solanki] wanted to do some text chatting from the comfort of the couch. He built this wireless chat client that he calls Chatbox using a microcontroller, a character LCD screen, and a keypad that he built himself.

The device communicates via an Infrared emitter and receiver. It pairs up with an Arduino using an IR shield that [Utpal] built. The handheld unit flashes a pair of white LEDs whenever it receives a message from the Arduino. You can then hit the Inbox button and scroll through to read what was received. To reply  just type on the keypad the same way you would with a cellphone, then hit the send button to shoot that message back to the Arduino.

On the computer side of things the messages are being relayed to and from the Arduino over a USB connection. Early on in the video demonstration (embedded after the break) [Utpal] shows his Chat Box program communicating via the handheld unit in the same way that other messenger programs work.

Looks to us like he’s built his own non-pink version of what the IM-ME was originally intended to do.

Comments

  1. varg says:

    Interesting… Most people have something that already does that though, it’s called a cell phone. Is this a 1990s flashback post?

  2. riycou says:

    sorry but it looks horrible. no use for this at all. we all have wireless phones and laptops. and the video i have no idea what they are saying. the keypad is well thought out but i would have made a qwerty keyboard.

  3. jo says:

    nice project but one question:
    since when is does Facebook equals world?

    Before FB it was Hello World wasn`t it? now it is hello Facebook?

    just kidding

  4. beagle3429 says:

    This is awesome. It’s always nice to see something that isn’t directly useful, but you can tell they enjoyed making it.

    When I was younger I always wanted to make the same thing but use a TI-89.

  5. Boricuagnu says:

    Hello. This is a good proyect to develop. I think it will be great with some functionality like the “chat now comunicator”, were units comunicate by radio and can send text messages for a 1 to 2 miles radious. I have never read of a hack similar to this devices.

  6. jeditalian says:

    that looks painful. also looks like the battery life might not suck though, since you have something like a calculator LCD and 14 buttons.

  7. skinner says:

    I don’t even remember how to use a keypad for text entry.

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