When I first saw this, I immediately thought back to the days when my BlackBerry was with me 24/7. Fond memories of BlackBerry Messenger came pouring over me. I was so glad to see a Canadian company doing so well! But then, well… Android and iOS basically took over completely, and now there are probably hundreds of millions of BlackBerry phones sitting in e-cycle plants and desk drawers worldwide.
However, this super cool FeatherWing uses new old stock BlackBerry parts to create a user interface! The keyboard is from the BlackBerry Q10. BlackBerry keyboards were renowned for their easy typing. Even modern smartphone touchscreen keyboards that have all sorts of optimizations to avoid touching the wrong letter still can’t keep up with a good old physical QWERTY. There are 4 separate buttons above the keyboard, as well as a four-way rocker switch with a button in the center. The whole thing is very reminiscent of the Curve line of BlackBerrys, with the exception of the navigation ball.
This is simply an awesome way to add a great user interface to any project using a Feather MCU board. It is compatible with all of the Feathers released by Adafruit as well as many third-party Feathers, such as the Giant Board and the Orange Crab.
Oh, it also includes an SD card slot, a Stemma QT/Qwicc connector, a NeoPixel, and a keyboard FIFO buffer. Plus, of course, the 320×240 16-bit colour LCD! Interface it with a LoRa Feather and you can make one of those doomsday text communicators. Or use a FONA Feather, and make… a phone! I will definitely be picking up one of these to use with my HUZZAH ESP8266 feather to control my home automation system.
And the best part — it’s certified Open Source Hardware! This means that all the software & hardware files are available in formats which allow editing and reuse — even commercially.