Beepberry Brings Memory LCD And A Physical Keyboard To Your Pi

A BlackBerry Classic-sized device with a BlackBerry keyboard and an e-ink screen. It sits next to an e-ink smartwatch with a grey bezel that matches the 3d printed enclosure of the messaging device.

As the 2020s are seeing the return of the flip phone, could we see a rebirth of other device form factors from before the slab era? [Eric Migicovsky] and [SQFMI] are working on a new physical keyboard device with the Beepberry.

Featuring a high contrast Sharp Memory LCD and the tried-and-true reliability of a BlackBerry keyboard, the device is designed for messaging all your contacts over WiFi without the distractions of a smartphone. As this is a collaboration with the Matrix-based chat service Beeper, the device is designed around the CLI version of their client.

If you want to eschew the distraction-free nature of the device, since it’s Pi-powered it can run any ARM Linux programs you might want as well being a playground for hardware mods. Add a DSP and headphone jack and this could be a neat little pianobar player. [Migicovsky] stresses this is currently a dev board and by no means should be assumed to be an off-the-shelf piece of kit.

If this looks like a familiar reuse of a BlackBerry keyboard, you might be remembering [arturo182]’s Keyboard Featherwing or this LoRa Messenger.

9 thoughts on “Beepberry Brings Memory LCD And A Physical Keyboard To Your Pi

    1. I absolutely abhor RPi for lack of s2ram but recently when I decided to create a 10″ eink tablet for webbrowsing (reading tutorials and schematics) which I wanted to be a full Linux computer I couldn’t find any module with a similar form factor like Zero capable of running mainline or almost mainline kernel. OrangePi has Rockchip based compute board but I have no time to design a daghterboard with those fine pitched 100pin connectors I just need USB to connect Waveshare’s eink driver.
      In fact I have so little time that I’m considering rather buying developer/beta edition of PineNote even though I don’t need digitizer and touchscreen.

      1. PS: I absolutely love eink displays for they really are like paper i.e. *passive*. Multiday endurance on battery is low priority secondary goal for me that is why I made that compromise. Perhaps it is a goal with lower priority also for Beepberry’s author?

      2. “with a similar form factor like Zero capable of running mainline or almost mainline kernel”

        Pocket Beagle and those “compute stick/miniPC” comes to my mind. But I have never used them so don’t know how similar in size and possibilities those would be for you – and probably you already checked those.

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