Have you ever thought it would be a waste to upgrade to a new phone, when iPhone or Android suddenly releases a new OS and your phone either becomes too slow, or is not able to upgrade? For many of us here in Malaysia, where the latest iPhone could be as much as ten percent of a Malaysianâ€™s salary! (based on the 2013 report on nominal GDP per capita)
Now, compared to the States, where phone subsidies are the norm, and where the latest iPhone prices can be as low as USD 99 for a phone on contract, our iPhones here donâ€™t get much subsidy from our telecommunications companies. That makes most of us keep our iPhones like our lives depend on it. Precious.
However, what happens if you have a modular phone? Where you can easily swap out the parts you donâ€™t need for better parts? Letâ€™s say a better processor, or a larger battery? Or even better, swap out screens when itâ€™s broken or when you just want a higher resolution screen?
Introducing Project Ara : Modular smart phones
PhoneBloks, which recently showed these ambitious designs will be working with Motorola (owned by Google, who else?) on Project Ara. An ambitious open sourced project that promises to do to smartphones hardware what the open sourced Android did to smart phones.
Project Ara plans to create an open sourced eco system whereby even you can develop your own hardware. Or support a perhaps local vendor to create modular parts for the phone. Parts may even be 3D printable! Imagine if you broke a part and you could print it out instead of discarding the phone and contributing to global waste?
And if you are a photographer, you will even be able to upgrade the smart phone sensor to a bigger one. Or have external controls added modularly. Imagine the possibilities.
Project Ara comprises of an endoskeleton (a structural frame) that will hold these modular components together.
Would you consider a modular smart phone? Watch the video below