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The Minecraft community continues to produce cool mods and inventions, and this one is probably the neatest one yet.
Verizon, virtual architects Blockworks, and ad agency Wieden+Kennedy have created a way to bring cellphone data coverage into the blocky world of Minecraft. If that sounds crazy and weird, that’s because it is. Essentially, Verizon coded cellphones and cell towers into the game, and when you combine the two, you have a working Minecraft smartphone. We’ve seeen similar features added to games like World of Warcraft where you can order pizza in the game, but that looks pretty silly next to Minecraft’s virtual phone. This device can send text messages, surf a low-pixel-count version of the Internet, and make video calls.
And those video calls look amazing:
Here is what the person on the other end of video — not in Minecraft — sees:
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Verizon explains the technical theory behind it did all of this on its Github blog. Put simply, the companies’ developers created an application called Boxel that can instantly translate Web data into blocks that Minecraft can understand.
But the best part is that Verizon is making its Minecraft tools open source. That means anyone can download Boxel and the Boxel-client to start making their own Minecraft smartphones or other mods based on this tech.
To promote this feat of engineering, Verizon didn’t just post a blog. The company teamed up with Minecraft community superstars SethBling and CaptainSparklez.
SethBling is a Minecraft modder and inventor, and he explained some of the tech in a video:
CaptainSparlez is a YouTube Let’s Player who specializes in making videos about Minecraft, and he also demoed the tech:
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