Verizon Built a Working Cell Phone in Minecraft

Call phones in real life, surf the web, and (of course) take selfies

Making a working creation in Minecraft is a lot of hard work. Making a working phone in Minecraft is a totally different story. When a person would think of having a working phone in Minecraft, they would normally think of a modification to the game that gives them a phone they can hold in their inventory. Verizon decided to up that by a thousand in size, access to applications, calling with FaceTime, and much more. In this article, we will be discussing the Minecraft mod that made many people think that this creation was completely faked.

Why Verizon Made a Phone in Minecraft

A Minecraft screen showing Verizon cell tower, display and logo

Verizon Wireless

Knowing how open-ended and infinitely creative Minecraft is, mobile phone company, Verizon Wireless, decided to attempt to make a working phone in Minecraft that would allow players to call phones in real life, surf the web, and (of course) take selfies. Verizon Wireless also took the opportunity to advertise their phone service while working on this project due to Minecraft’s large and growing popularity among gamers.

The Features

A Minecraft screen displayed on a smartphone
Verizon Wireless

When using the extremely large (and surprisingly operational) phone in Minecraft, three options were available to the players. These three features consisted of video calling, texting/MMS, and web browsing.

When a player would call another using the in-game phone, players would see their friend’s faces on the phone of their screen being produced and moving around with Minecraft blocks in real time. The person who is being called with a physical phone would see the player’s Minecraft character moving around in the F5 mode of the game.

The texting/MMS feature of the phone allowed players to take a selfie in Minecraft. Using MMS, after taking the selfie, players were able to send the picture they took to a real-world phone.

The last feature, web browsing, allowed players to connect to the internet and view web pages translated into Minecraft blocks. While the quality of the web pages was not the best, it was still very interesting seeing each individual site in a Minecraft format. Links were clickable on the screen of the phone, players could scroll through the page, and enjoy their favorite websites.

How It Was Done

A Minecraft screen displaying tower
Verizon Wireless

On Verizon Wireless’ website for the project, they stated, “With the help of Wieden+Kennedy and BlockWorks, we built custom functionality that lets players browse the Internet, make video calls and create a selfie stick to send an MMS selfie to a friend… In the world of Minecraft, almost everything is made of blocks. We’ve created a web application, Boxel, that translates real web pages and streaming video into blocks so they can be built on a Minecraft server in real time. Our server plugin uses Boxel-client to handle the communication between Minecraft and the real world as translated by the web application.”

In Conclusion

Minecraft logo on screen

Minecraft is a very open game, allowing for new ways to express yourself, new ways to share ideas, and new ways to be creative. Whether a person wants to build a phone that can connect to the outside world or a little dirt house, Minecraft gives the opportunity to do as you please as long as you have the willpower to try and not give up. 

Minecraft has become much more than Redstone and Command Blocks. Minecraft is giving individuals new tools to find out talents that they may or may not have known they’ve had before. Your only limitation when constructing your next big idea in Minecraft is your imagination, so reach for the stars and try to make something out of this world.

Read more about the 10 best Bukkit plugins for Minecraft servers.

Was this page helpful?