The Flipper Zero digital multi-tool can now play games, complete with hand-tracking


The Flipper Zero digital multi-tool already has tons of uses, from hacking to controlling home systems. Now it can even play games, thanks to a partnership with Raspberry Pi. This comes in the form of a new add-on for the device, appropriately called the Video Game Module.

The module is powered by the Raspberry Pi-developed RP2040 microcontroller and it can run games programmed in C, C++ and MicroPython. To suit the quirkiness of Flipper’s device, however, the module goes a few steps further. It features sensors for hand-tracking, a 3-axis gyroscope and a 3-axis accelerometer, so games can include tilt and shake functionalities.

Now, you may be wondering why you would play real games on the Flipper Zero’s teensy-tiny screen. The 1.4-inch monochrome display may work for the hacking minigame often associated with the device, but would likely struggle with anything beyond that. Luckily, the Video Game Module allows for video output to external displays.

In other words, the module’s suite of sensors combined with the video output turns the Flipper Zero itself into a controller, with the game being played on an actual screen. It’ll be really cool to see what the open source community does with this thing. It could end up like the famously-derided Ouya console only, you know, good.

A module sliding into a Flipper Zero.A module sliding into a Flipper Zero.

Flipper Devices

This is the latest Flipper Zero module and programmers will likely have a field day experimenting with the hardware. There’s a built-in USB-C connector to interface with the microcontroller for making changes and the whole thing can actually work on its own, without any need to connect to Flipper’s gadget. Think of it as one-part Flipper module and one-part Pico-type device with an onboard IMU.

Alex Kulagin, founder and COO of Flipper Devices, hopes that this accessory will “unlock new ways of using Flipper Zero” and “bridge the gap between retro-gaming nostalgia and cutting-edge research.” The Video Game Module costs $49 and the Flipper Zero costs $169.

Gaming is just the latest use for the Flipper Zero. This digital Swiss army knife was originally pitched as a multi-tool for hackers, but it’s fully open source and is capable of interacting with devices via IR, NFC, RFID, Bluetooth and physical connections. Users have turned these cute Dolphin-inspired gadgets into universal remotes, key fob testers, GameShark-like cheating devices and much more. They can also unlock certain safes, but you didn’t hear that from us.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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