Your Phone Made of Lego-like Bricks
If you thought smartphones are just a passing fad, manufacturers are taking full advantage of the fact by churning out bigger and better models of their phones at every opportunity they get, before the bubble bursts. But, have you thought about the amount of old and outdated technology that’s currently just lying around collecting dust and rusting away? It has become a habit for people to want to change their cellphones at least once a year. And although that’s great news for cellphone manufacturers and from a technological standpoint, replacing your phone every 10-12 months is not good for the environment.
But what if you could upgrade your phone with the latest version of any hardware, including cameras, memory, or operating systems, by swapping out the old part for a new one, while retaining the rest of you device. Not only would this be a huge saving on the part of customers’ as they would only be buying a single swappable part, which would presumably cost less than an entire phone, but also it would also greatly reduce the impact of electronic waste on the environment. This is where PhoneBloks comes in; a revolutionary design concept that depicts a phone made out of a number of modular components like cameras, processors, memory, etc., can be linked together like LEGO bricks to create and upgradable phone. And as the technology slowly comes into being, this phone is eventually going to go from concept to reality.
Most would argue that people wouldn’t want to keep a phone for that long, even if they could upgrade its individual components. Moreover, there’s a very slim chance that PhoneBLoks will make it big as a cellphone manufacturer as it will have to go head to head with companies that literally began the IoT revolution. However, the fact is that users who are conscious about the environment and its sustainability will buy it. And who knows, swapping your old modules for the latest one might even become a trend! And PhoneBloks is not intended to compete with cellphone companies, but is in fact, meant to inspire them, according to founder Dave Hakkens. So, Hakkens Idea would work if:
- Cellphone companies promoted and marketed the design,
- Consumers open themselves to the fact that they could be using the same device for a longer time.
Like LEGO, but not LEGO!
Unlike LEGO’s attempt to enter the IT market, yes LEGO, the PhoneBloks concept is more than just a fad. In an attempt to tap into the trend of hi-tech toys for kids, LEGO actually partnered up with a firm called Digital Blue, in Las Vegas, to manufacture and package a range of LEGO-based cellphones. Although ambitious in theory, the idea was soon dropped due to low public response. Either that or they were talking to some really mature kids!
Hakkens concept is technically the next step in technology evolution, modular swapping. Just how the IoT makes devices connect to each other, wirelessly, swappable modular components will allow different pieces of a product come together to form a physical connected device. That being said, the adaptable software and the creation of casings, universal plugs, and so on could potentially make your device bigger and more expensive.