Flipper Zero turns hacking into a Tamagotchi-style game

Its creators want to show that hacking is 'a skill set like anything else.'

Flipper Devices

Flipper Zero is a small, Tamagotchi-like gadget that its creators hope will get people into hacking. Just like the classic digital pet, the device has a cute, needy creature at its heart. One big difference is that this dolphin loves to hack.

Just like an actual Tamagotchi, the built-in controls are simple, with a five-button directional pad and an exit/back button. It has a tiny, low-power 1.4-inch monochrome display. However, it seems there's a lot you can do with Flipper Zero as a standalone device.

The team behind the gizmo built it with "all the phreaking hardware tools that you could need for hacking on the go." Plenty of scripts and popular attacks are baked into the menu. The 433/868 MHz transceiver could allow you to access the likes of smart plugs and garage doors, and you can use the infrared transmitter to control TVs, air conditioners and other systems. With the NFC module, you'll be able to communicate with a wide range of NFC-enabled devices.

Flipper Zero is open source and customizable, and you can plug in other hardware to get more out of it. You can connect it to your phone or other devices via Bluetooth, or plug in a MicroSD card to expand storage and add your own plugins. Flipper Zero also has GPIO and USB ports for hooking it up to other hardware.

Since this is a game, you'll be able to upgrade your dolphin through your hacking feats. You'll need to hack things often to keep him happy.

The hackers who created Flipper Zero blew past their original crowdfunding goal of $60,000, with backers pledging almost $5 million. The device should start shipping next month.

“One reason we had success with Flipper Zero is that these days, everybody wants to be a hacker, but not everybody knows how to become one," Alexander Kulagin, one of the Flipper Zero co-creators, told Motherboard. "We wanted to show that hacking is actually for everyday use and that it's not some evil thing, it’s just a skill set like anything else."