The Beepberry is a messaging gadget that curbs smartphone addiction while looking like a retro BlackBerry

Pebble smartwatch founder, Eric Migicovsky has been under the wraps for quite some time, and he has a side project that’s got everyone interested. While he’s deeply engrossed with his chat aggregation app Beeper and a mystery Android phone, Eric has gone back to his roots and created a computing device for sending or receiving messages.

Dubbed Beepberry, the strange-looking gadget is a raw prototype that is right out of the hardcore tech DIY realm. It’s a dump phone to get rid of smartphone addiction as the innovator wanted a “weekend device” to keep connected with people but not have the multimedia distractions of a modern phone.

Designer: Beepberry

To keep things simple, the gadget only works with the in-house Beeper app and nothing else is a privilege here. For those who don’t know, Beeper is an all-in-one chat device with all the chat platforms like WhatsApp and iMessage in one place.

Migicovsky says that the raw gadget is essentially an “e-paper Cyberdeck” that seamlessly fits in “your pocket.” For the Beepberry, the creator has mashed up Sharp’s 2.3-inch Memory LCD screen (400×240 resolution), genuine Blackberry Classic keyboard and Raspberry Pi Zero W into one. Since it is virtually open source for now, so in the right hands it acts like a portable e-paper computer for geeks.

In fact, the official website where the Beepberry is up for $79 describes it as a handheld device that can be tweaked for getting weather updates or playing Ascii Star Wars. Since the gadget is barebones for now, you’ll have to figure out a way to somehow hook on the 2,000mAh battery. Some of the demos show the creators using a rubber band to hold it in place!

Shell out $99 and you’ll get a Pi Zero W preinstalled to make things easier. For now, there is no cellular connectivity option, so you’ll not be aware of those messages if they are important. Nor does the gadget come with a case, so you’ll have to 3D-Print it yourself.