Verizon unveil fully functional Minecraft smartphone

I never imagined I would write these words…

Today, mobile phone giant Verizon have become the latest company to embrace the phenomenon that is Minecraft by creating a fully functional smartphone that can be used in-game. 

In a collaborative effort with BlockWorks, who have previously managed Minecraft related projects for Disney and Warner Bros., Verizon have added a whole new way for people to get lost in the Minecraft world.

Tech beta videos from people such as CaptainSparklez, have shown just how impressive the code is, allowing players to make video calls in-game, with the person you are talking to rendered into appropriate blocks that match the tone of what they see, reminiscent of the webcams from a decade ago.

And not content to stop there, the plugin also enables players to browse the internet on their phone. While not in a usable or readable state, the pages are still rendered pretty accurately to what they should look like. And of course, they have also added selfies, which will allow you to send an in-game selfie as a real life MMS.

The engine used to make all of this possible has been dubbed as Boxel, which is labelled as a real-time pixelator, which pixelates and reduces the colour palette of images, websites and video at up to 24fps, making it usable on Minecraft servers without overloading and crashing them.

The best part of all this, is that the entire code which makes this amazing feat possible has been made available as freeware and open source. As a result, Minecraft modders will now have a shiny new toy to create mind-numbing creations.

Previously, the community have created working computers, pianos, guitars and more without this level of power, so can you imagine the same creativity applied to this?

I can’t wait!

There is a big reason why Microsoft laid out nearly £1.5billion for Minecraft. The scope for how it can inspire and innovate creativity, as well as encourage kids to learn about coding has been well documented, and Verizon's contribution has further cemented Minecraft's place in gaming history.

What do you think? Will you to try order a pizza through Minecraft? 

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