Could This MIT Wooden DIY Cellphone Lead To A Future Of Build Your Own Smartphones?


If you’re fed up with all the “who copied who,” “this one’s suing this one” nonsense currently consuming the mobile ecosystem, MIT has the solution for you. Raise your Switzerland flag with an affordable wooden DIY cellphone kit. No one will mistake your 9-volt powered laser-cut plywood for an iDevice or Android so you won’t have to worry about any impending patent litigation. All kidding aside, this little do-it-yourself kit is only in the prototype phase and is a far cry from the smartphones we’re used to using.

The prototype developed by PhD student David Mellis uses around $150 worth of parts and features a 1.8-inch, 160 x 128 TFT LCD display, and works with a standard SIM card and any GSM network. As it stands, the phone is functional and can place and receive calls (it even had Caller ID). However, with the plethora of “dumb” phone available for next to nothing and smartphones being subsidized everyday, this is more of a fun learning DIY project for students and tinkerers than it is a replacement for your current mobile situation.

Could we possible see a day when consumers have the ability to walk into a Fry’s-like mobile phone parts store and custom build their own smartphone? I don’t see why not. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. There’s always that first step in any industry and this DIY wooden cellphone could be just that… a first step.

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