Phonebloks – the Modular Smartphone Utopia


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Designer Dave Hakkens decided to present his modular smartphone idea in a well thought out video, reaching millions of people overnight. Is having an idea enough? There were some tryouts with various electronic parts and modular devices in the past – Microsoft even holds a patent for their own vision of the modular smartphone (with interior having an extra high capacity battery, a game controler/GPU, physical keyboard, etc.). Nevertheless, this project is different – it actually turned viral.

Even if the attention span doesn’t hold well (throughout the campaign or even after it ends), idea seems to be solidly refined for something that is merely a concept – an idea – at this point. An entire modular parts store has been imagined to fit the needs of practically everyone:

Phonebloks customization

Phonebloks modules
If nothing else, it is gratifying to imagine this of becoming a reality. 

Phonebloks - support
In order to get the attention of entrepreneurs, designers, CEOs, developers, investors and researchers, Hakkens believes a Thunderclap campaign to be the best option

While it could take nothing short of a miracle to turn this project into something real, it is hard not to support the brilliant idea of having something like the Phonebloks, which truly reminds of a small-scale PC building. It would be an incredibly strenuous task to keep the pricing relatively low and the imagined modularity/options are something manufacturers aren?t exactly fond of. Nowadays, just as the video suggests, manufacturers will be more than glad to sell you the newest $599 device every other year instead. And that?s just a drop in the water of potential/real problems. On the other hand, disposability of some sort could actually drive the sales ? though ?disposability? isn?t exactly behind the whole concept here.