Repurpose a cellphone

Did you see a new gadget or toy and start brimming with ideas? See something that has tons of potential? Discuss these thoughts here.

Repurpose a cellphone

Postby Circuitbender » February 12th, 2013, 1:11 pm

How big of a deal would it be to repurpose one of those super cheap pay as you go cellphones from Wal-Mart? It seems like if you could strip it down to zero you would have a powerful, cheap, feature rich development platform. Maybe a Windows or Android phone would be a better candidate. I guess it would be necessary to know what kind of processor it has, what kind of firmware it uses, etc. Any ideas/comments??

Maybe I need to buy one to tear apart.
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Re: Repurpose a cellphone

Postby MS3FGX » February 12th, 2013, 3:52 pm

"Development platform" assumes, generally, that it is made in such a way to be easy to run your own code on. A cheap "dumb" phone is anything but, and it's likely going to be almost impossible to run your own low-level code on it.

You could probably get it to run a Java application, but if you're talking about turning it into some kind of programmable microcontroller kind of thing, forget it.

You'd definitely have better luck with an old Android device. If you keep an eye on eBay for one of the less popular ones, ideally one with something that's wrong with it (but of course, not so wrong that you can't use it for your purposes), it shouldn't cost much.
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