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Working Minecraft smartphone lets players send video calls in-game

Verizon has created a Minecraft phone that can connect to the real world, letting players browse the internet, send texts, and even make video calls from within the game.

It's pretty astonishing what you can create in Minecraft's endless, blocky world. Some people have chosen to recreate entire cities, others have built fully functional hard drives, and now Verizon have created a working smartphone. 

Working in tandem with virtual architects BlockWorks and ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, Verizon built a Minecraft phone that can connect to the real world, letting players browse the internet, send texts, and even make video calls from within the game. 

Verizon outlined how they built the phone in a blog post, explaining that they designed a web app called Boxel "that translates real web pages and streaming video into blocks so they can be built on a Minecraft server in real time."

A Boxel-client was then created to let Minecraft players use the virtual phone to communicate with those still confined to the real world. 

In an act of goodwill, Verizon has open sourced both Boxel and the Boxel-client, so if you've got a little bit of coding know-how you can try and create your own Minecraft handset. 

You can visit Boxel and Boxel-client on GitHub for more documentation to help you get started.

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