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Pebble smartwatch founder has a new invention called the Beepberry

Migicovsky describes it as "an e-paper Cyberdeck that fits in your pocket."

Published onMay 18, 2023

  • The founder of the Pebble smartwatch has been working on “a little side project.”
  • That side project is a messaging device called the Beepberry.
  • The Beepberry is currently up for pre-order for $99 or $79 with or without a Raspberry Pi Zero W respectively.

It’s been a while since we last heard from the founder of the Pebble smartwatch. Last we heard, Eric Migicovsky was working on building a small Android phone. But it looks like that’s not stopping him from taking on side projects. The latest device from Migicovsky appears to be a strange computing device for messaging.

In a Twitter thread, Migicovsky revealed his latest invention called the Beepberry. The bizarre little gadget consists of a mini-touchpad, a Raspberry Pi Zero W, and a Sharp Memory LCD 400 x 240 screen — the same type of screen found on programming calculators. It also features a backlit BlackBerry Classic keyboard that still has the logo.

According to Migicovsky, the idea of this device came about due to a desire to have a “weekend device” that would allow him to stay in touch with others, but not provide the distractions of a smartphone.

I wanted a ‘weekend’ device that would let me stay in touch with friends and family, sans the distractions of a phone. I imagined a tiny, hackable e-paper screen with a physical keyboard, powered by a Raspberry Pi, useful to chat around my home…and pretty much nothing else.

Essentially, he wanted a dumb phone that would allow him to text and nothing more.

As the name would suggest, Beepberry is meant to be used with the all-in-one chat service Beeper. If you’re not familiar with Beeper, it’s a service that puts all of your chats into one app, including iMessage.

However, Migicovsky says that it is more than just a Beeper device. He also says “it’s basically an e-paper Cyberdeck that fits in your pocket.”

Altogether, the device ultimately looks like a mishmash of different parts colliding together, mostly because it is. But Migicovsky says this current form is not the finished product. It’s just a devkit in its current state.

However, he has opened up pre-orders for the devkit on SQFMI. There’s a version that comes with the Raspberry Pi Zero W that is selling for $99 and a version without it for $79.

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