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KindleBerry Pi: using a Kindle as a Raspberry Pi display

The Raspberry Pi as a computer is a very portable unit due to its size and weight, but it isn’t a portable computer due to a lack of display, battery, and peripherals. That hasn’t stopped a few people coming up with portable solutions, like the workstation created on a laser cut, transparent base.

Today I’ve learned of another, rather unusual way to hook your Raspberry Pi up to a portable display: use a Kindle. It may sound a little crazy, after all, the Kindle uses an E Ink display that is setup with a very slow screen refresh, but that hasn’t stopped modder damaru from experimenting and getting it to work.

The reason this mod can work is because it is possible to jailbreak the Kindle and tweak its functionality. Once jailbroken you can install a terminal emulator and then UsbNetwork, which allows communication with devices connected to the Kindle via USB.

Hooking up the Raspberry Pi to the Kindle using a USB cable, and then connecting the keyboard to your Pi, allows you to interface with the Pi while viewing the output on the Kindle display. The magic piece of software that allows this to happen is the terminal multiplexer gnu screen.

There’s a number of steps you need to carry out if you want to make this a more permanent setup, all of which are covered on damaru’s blog ponnuki. I should also point out there is a chance you could brick your Kindle attempting this. The so-called KindleBerry Pi is definitely not a project for beginners.

Although no video of the KindleBerry Pi has appeared yet, damaru says it works quite well and the slow screen refresh doesn’t cause much of a problem. However, he does admit you won’t be that productive and that there are a number of improvements that could be made to the setup if someone cares to start experimenting and take the project further.

Read more at ponnuki

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