Engadget video /Video screen capture
Have you ever wanted to build your own cell phone? Turns out you just might have the opportunity with an interesting kit created by MIT Media Lab, which is in prototype phase. Complete with a wood case, a circuit board, control pad, antenna, and LCD screen, you can put together your very own mobile phone in your living room and customize it to your liking.
Engadget states, "Building your own wireless communications device isn't for the faint of heart, or the law-abiding -- the FCC tends to prefer placing its own stamp of approval on devices that utilize US airwaves, making a homegrown mobile phone an unlikely proposition. That didn't stop a team at the MIT Media Lab from creating such a DIY kit, however."
While checking out the prototype at an MIT open house, Engadget's Zach Honig notes that the audio sound quality of phone calls that went out and came in was decent and you can even have caller ID. Here's a video:
While it's not a practical option for a quality cell phone, it could be an interesting science project for students learning about electronic devices when the kit comes out on the market. Getting comfortable with electronics, including something as ubiquitous as cell phones, is important in getting people to repair their own gadgets when they break, rather than replacing them. And projects like this are just such a way to make electronics less intimidating. So even though this isn't a super slick cell phone, it is indeed made for the "cool kids."